Among the measures may be the unilateral suspension of Russia’s most-favoured-nation treatment, something that some of the now signatories, such as the United States, Canada or the European Union, have already indicated in recent days.
“As members of the World Trade Organization, we will take all measures we deem necessary to protect our core security interests, including measures to support Ukraine or suspend concessions or other commitments to Russia,” they said in a statement. Statement sent by the US mission to the United Nations in Geneva.
In the statement, they also indicated the suspension of the process of Belarus’s accession to the World Trade Organization, due to this country’s “material support” for Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Albania, Australia, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia and Norway also joined this joint declaration, in which 40 signatories reiterated their condemnation of the Russian invasion and solidarity with Ukraine.
Most-favoured-nation status exists to prevent WTO member states (164) from discriminating between their various trading partners.
Thus, if a country is given a special advantage, for example, lowering duties on one of its products, the same must be done for all other members of the organization (with exceptions, as in the case of free trade agreements)..
In practice, removing it would allow tariffs to be imposed on Russian imports at the level they would like, deny Russian companies access to the markets for their services and would not protect their intellectual property rights.
On the other hand, the European Union on Monday requested the suspension of the work of the committee of the dispute settlement body formed at the World Trade Organization to resolve the trade dispute launched by Brussels against Russia last year.
This litigation was initiated by Brussels in July 2021, considering that Russia applies pricing policies, licensing requirements and minimum quotas in order to benefit domestic producers, in contrast to international trade laws guaranteed by the World Trade Organization.
Some observers view this unusual move within the Geneva-based organization as another step in isolating Russia in this organization and other international bodies.
Russia’s gradual isolation within the World Trade Organization may jeopardize preparations for the ministerial conference scheduled for June 13.
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