19:52 GMT17 February 2020
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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    Russia could bring the issue of Western sanctions to a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel, but winning the case could depend on an interpretation of what US national security concerns specifically are, former Chair of the WTO Appellate Body Georges Abi-Saab told Sputnik on Thursday.

    GENEVA (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — "Russia would have to prove that these sanctions violate commitments taken by the US towards WTO members in general, including Russia," Abi-Saab said.

    He added that "then there is the notion of the defense of national security."

    "The United States may invoke national security concerns. In this case, the WTO system for settlement of disputes will have to examine whether these concerns are applicable or not," Abi-Saab said.

    The United States, alongside a number of partners, imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine internal affairs and escalating a military crisis in the country. Moscow denied the allegations.

    The sanctions target entire sectors of the Russian economy, including defense, banking and energy. Restrictive measures are also aimed at certain individuals.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin branded the anti-Russia sanctions imposed by Western nations last year a rejection of the basic WTO principle of equal access to goods and service markets.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    sanctions, WTO, Georges Abi-Saab, Russia
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