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    A label indicating the seats for the Russian delegation is seen prior to the start of a World Trade Organization ministerial meeting that gave its second and final approval for Russia's membership in the trade body after a record 18-year quest to join, on December 16, 2011 in Geneva

    Russia Rules Out Appealing to WTO Over Western Sanctions

    © AFP 2019 / FABRICE COFFRINI
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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that Russia will not appeal to the World Trade Organization over the issue of Western anti-Moscow sanctions, as the organization is designed to deal with economic, but not political issues.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — Russia will not appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the issue of Western anti-Moscow sanctions, as the organization is designed to deal with economic, but not political issues, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday.

    “Our position is that political and economic tracks should not overlap. WTO Director-General [Roberto Azevedo] shares our position on this issue,” Ulyukayev told reporters after a meeting with Azevedo.

    According to the Russian official, during the meeting with the WTO head, the two officials reaffirmed their commitment to the rule that the participants of the WTO panel on dispute settlement should not be politically engaged.

    "We agreed that the subject of sanctions is a political subject, the WTO dispute settlement panel is a platform for regulation of economic disputes, and the two should not be combined without need,” Ulyukayev said, when asked whether Russia would appeal to the WTO over the Western sanctions.

    Relations between Russia and the West declined with the early 2014 Crimean referendum to join Russia and the Ukrainian government’s military offensive against pro-independence militia in the eastern region of Donbass.

    Washington and Brussels imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and Russian defense, energy and banking sectors in late July 2014. Russia responded by introducing a year-long food embargo on imports from the United States, the European Union and other countries that have targeted Russia, extending the current embargo until August 5, 2016.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    anti-Russian sanctions, sanctions, World Trade Organization (WTO), Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia
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