The Ministry praised the decision by the WTO in a dispute between Russia and the EU

© AFP 2018 / Fabrice CoffriniШтаб-apartment world Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Archival photoThe Ministry praised the decision by the WTO in a dispute between Russia and the EU© 2018 AFP / Fabrice Coffrini

The world trade organization (WTO) supported the position of Russia at key points in the dispute with the EU over its third energy package, said the Ministry.

«The outcome for the Russian Federation on key terms of economic and operational activities of Russian suppliers in the EU positive», — stated in the message Department.

The decision of the WTO may, in particular, to improve the conditions of access of Russian natural gas to the EU market. The Ministry also expressed confidence that in future projects of Gazprom in Europe will apply non-discriminatory treatment.

In most Russian companies were satisfied with the outcome of the dispute in part of the revealed violations by the EU regarding the third energy package.

The Ministry recalled that in total, the Russian side has contested six blocks of measures, including the requirements of the third energy package and a number of other measures of economic policy of the European Union, as well as mechanisms for their implementation at the country level.

WTO decisions

The panel accepted the illegal quantitative restrictions on Russian gas supplies via the gas pipeline Opal, as well as the requirement of sales of a specific part of the gas on the open market, the Ministry said.

A similar decision was taken by the discriminatory rules of certification of operators of gas networks that are controlled by foreign persons, in Lithuania, Hungary and Croatia. In addition, the panel recognized the untenable position of the EU for the certification of operators and «projects of common interest».

On the other hand, the WTO did not support the Russian objections to the measures for the separation of gas companies for the extraction, sale and transportation of gas, as well as preferences provided by the EU suppliers of LNG.

The experts

The position of the WTO may complicate the discrimination of Russian gas to Europe, said Deputy General Director for gas projects of national energy security Fund Alexei Grivach. However, in his opinion, from the decision of the organization not to make far-reaching conclusions.

«I would not overestimate this decision, so as to extract from it practical advantage will not be easy», — he stressed.

The WTO is a living mechanism, disputes within the framework of which in some cases end in our favor and some not, noted on radio Sputnik chair of the Department of state regulation of economy, Ranepa under the President of Russia Vladimir Klimanov.

«I personally advocate the effectiveness of this Institute, this tool,» he said.

Dispute with the European Union

In 2014 Russia started the procedure in the WTO because of the application of the EU third energy package, which assumes that the owners are located in the region of trunk pipelines cannot be companies that are engaged in gas production. Such requirements created an impediment to the construction of the «South stream» in the project abandoned. In March 2016 for consideration of the dispute, assembled a group of arbitrators of the WTO.

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