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    Russia Rejects EU Request to Convene Panel to Settle Import Taxes Issue

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    Russia Responds to Western Sanctions (218)
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    Russia has rejected the first request for the establishment of a panel by the European Union to study its dispute with Russia over tariff treatment of certain agricultural and manufacturing products.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has rejected the first request made by the European Union (EU) to the World Trade Organization (WTO) calling for the establishment of an arbitration panel to settle the matter of Russian import duties, a source familiar with the situation told RIA Novosti this Tuesday.

    “A first-time request for the establishment of a panel by the European Union to study its dispute with Russia over tariff treatment of certain agricultural and manufacturing products was rejected by the Russian Federation”, the source revealed.

    The European Union is accusing Russia of applying a high duty rate on some products, including paper-products, refrigerators and palm oil.

    In late February, the European Union requested the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel saying that the import duties "continue to seriously hamper EU trade" and "have a negative impact on the economy", according to the source.

    The two sides previously held formal WTO consultations over the matter in November, 2014 but the dispute remained unresolved.

    Russia expressed regret over the EU’s decision to convene a panel, as Moscow was ready to find a solution within the framework of ongoing consultations, the source added.

    The second request, which can be filed by the European Union on March 25, cannot be rejected.

    Russia joined the WTO in August 2012. Brussels has repeatedly accused Moscow of not meeting the commitments it undertook since becoming a WTO member.

    In total, at least four disputes have been initiated by the European Union against Russia, its third largest trading partner, within WTO frameworks, according to the organization's website.

    For its part, Russia has initiated two disputes with the WTO against the European Union. The first, filed in late 2013, concerns anti-dumping measures imposed by the European Union on several products imported from Russia, including ammonium nitrate and steel products. The second, initiated in April 2014 is over measures applied by the EU relating to the so-called Third Energy Package.

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    Russia Responds to Western Sanctions (218)

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