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    Moscow Likely to Appeal WTO Ruling on EU-Russia Pork Import Ban Dispute

    © AFP 2019 / THOMAS COEX
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    It is highly likely that Moscow will appeal in the coming weeks the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision to support the European Union in its trade dispute with Russia over Moscow's ban on the import of pork products from the bloc due to concerns over African swine fever, Russian Economic Development Ministry said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, a WTO panel said it found Russia's blanket ban on EU pork imports to be inconsistent with a number of WTO articles as well as the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (SPS). The panel said that the ban was discriminatory and in excess of what is required to reach appropriate levels of protection, as well as stating that a ban on certain products from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland is inconsistent with international animal health standards.

    "Russia does not agree with the latest [WTO] conclusions, because they are neither grounded nor just. The possibility of an appeal to the WTO Appellate Body is very high. A corresponding decision will be made in the coming weeks, within the time limits set by the WTO procedures," the Ministry's representative told RIA Novosti.

    African swine fever, which has recently emerged in Poland and the Baltic states, is likely to spread further across the continent within a year, he added, stressing that this was Russia's chief concern when imposing the import ban.

    Rosselkhoznadzor banned pork imports from EU member states in January, 2014, after an outbreak of the disease was recorded among pigs in Lithuania. Another outbreak has been recorded in Poland. Russia requested guarantees from EU authorities, which responded by calling the ban excessive and asked the WTO to form a panel to resolve the dispute.


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