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Russia loses WTO appeal over ban on pork imports from EU

Staff Writer | February 24, 2017
Russia lost its appeal gainst a World Trade Organization ruling on its ban on imports of European Union pigs and pork products.
Russia pork
Trade relations   EU pork exports to Russia were worth $1.5 billion
Moscow imposed a ban on most Western food imports in August 2014 after Western sanctions were launched over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

It imposed the pig and pork ban after a few cases of African swine fever in some parts of the EU that year.

Thursday's ruling means Russia will be expected to bring its rules into line with the WTO's. If the EU is not satisfied that it has done so, it could ask to be allowed to impose sanctions on Russia to compensate. That though would probably take years.

A WTO adjudication panel ruled against the ban in August 2016. Russia appealed, and the WTO's Appellate Body upheld the ruling, albeit on different grounds, and reversed one of the panel's findings in favour of the EU.

EU pork exports to Russia were worth 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in 2013, a quarter of all its pork exports at the time.