Russia must now play by the rules

10-Jul-2013 @ 18:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Russia must now play by the rules


The European Commission's decision to launch an investigation against Russia for breaching the terms of its membership of the World Trade Organisation was welcomed today by senior Conservative MEP Robert Sturdy.

Mr Sturdy, MEP for the East of England and Conservative spokesman on international trade, was speaking after Commissioners announced their planned action against Russia, a country only admitted to the WTO last year after 18 years of negotiation and repeated warnings over protectionist policies.

The action is over Russia's so-called "recycling" fees for imported vehicles. The duty is imposed on all cars, trucks and buses brought into Russia, but nearly all home-produced vechicles enjoy an exemption, along with imports from Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Last August Mr Sturdy welcomed Russia' accession to the WTO, but warned that in joining the club it must now abide by the rules.

Today he said: "Let's face it, Russia is no stranger to protectionism and there were always going to tensions and problems as Moscow adapted to the open-market principles that come with WTO membership.

"However, that does not mean we should soft soap them. Russia must start enforcing its WTO commitments.

"So, I am pleased that the Commission is finally utilising its right as a committed member of a multilateral rules-based system to resolve this on-going dispute.

"We have to protect the legitimate interests of European car producers and exporters to Russia.

"As Chairman of the Parliament's Russia Monitoring Group I have repeatedly urged both the Commission and Russian representatives in Brussels to tackle practices of protectionist discrimination."

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