Russia appeals WTO ruling against its embargo of EU pork

Russia appeals WTO ruling against its embargo of EU pork
Russia appeals WTO ruling against its embargo of EU pork

Russia  lodged an appeal against a ruling that its import ban on pork products from the European Union is illegitimate, the World Trade Organization said.

The WTO ruling, handed down last month, concerns a ban imposed by Russia in early 2014, which Moscow said was necessary to protect its consumers following a small flare up of African Swine Fever in some EU states.

Russia widened its ban against EU products later in 2014, a move many saw as retaliation against EU sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.

Experts at the Geneva-based WTO ruled in August that Russia’s stated concerns over EU pork did not meet the requirements needed to justify such a sweeping ban.

“The Russian Federation filed a notice of appeal today,” a WTO spokesman said Friday.

The WTO’s decision on the appeal should be announced within three months, according to the body’s rules.

In 2013, EU pork exports to Russia were estimated at 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion dollars).

Since joining the WTO in 2012, Russia has imposed bans on dairy products, chocolates, wine and meat from countries including Lithuania, Poland, Moldova and Ukraine.

When the WTO’s initial ruling in the case was announced on August 19, the EU said in a statement that the decision “confirms that the measures taken by Russia against the EU have little to do with any real sanitary or health risks”.