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EU to take car import dispute with Russia to WTO


The European Union will Tuesday put a dispute with Russia over car imports to the World Trade Organization, an EU diplomatic source said.

The EU has expressed concern over a recycling fee which is imposed by Russia solely on imported vehicles, thus increasing their cost.

"An announcement is expected around midday," said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The bloc's Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht complained in December that Moscow was not doing enough to meet its commitments after finally joining the WTO and said Brussels reserved the right to take its complaints to the WTO if talks failed to resolve disputes.

De Gucht had listed four areas of concern, among them recycling fees which are levied only on auto imports and a ban on the import of live animals, a measure he said was designed to protect Russian producers.

Last month his spokesman John Clancy said "Europe understands that there is an environmental need to encourage car recycling. However, we have very grave concerns about the fact that the Russian legislation on car recycling fees discriminates imported vehicles."

He added that the EU "would prefer to negotiate our way to a solution."

He said: "However, if that does not prove possible the EU is most certainly prepared to use all the legal avenues at our disposal. And since Russia's accession, that includes dispute settlement at the WTO."