community what is community

WTO-LogoRussia’s decision to block Lithuania’s haulers and imports of Lithuanian dairy products may be considered at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as early as this month, Lithuania’s Ambassador at the UN, Albinas Zananavičius, has said.

Lithuanian Ambassador added that Lithuania is collecting the required materials and intends to hand them over to the European Commission, which could lodge a complaint against Russia with the world’s trade body.

“I may only say that a meeting, during which this problem may be put forward, is planned to be held this month, and we have already obtained a preliminary approval from the European Commission for that,” Zananavičius of Lithuania’s mission to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva told the news portal

“Some Lithuania’s officials have recently been urging to address the WTO and, of course, we are considering this possibility. We are collecting the materials and will hand them over to the European Commission, which represents the EU Member States at the WTO. The Commission is the only authority that could sue Russia in the WTO court, whereas we have to prove that it has to do that – to collect the required documents and proofs,” the diplomat said.

If it were decided to go to the WTO, the proceedings could last for up to two years, he said. Therefore, political measures would be taken in the first place so as to speed up the settlement of the dispute.

“Lithuania is cooperating with the European Commission and has already provided certain information about the haulers. Letters from two European Commissioners, Algirdas Šemeta and Karel De Gucht who is responsible for trade, were published later. It proves that the Commission has found our information about the emerging problems in trade with Russia convincing,” Zananavičius said.

“On the other hand, the commissioners are trying to handle the situation through political measures in the first place. It’s the only way to solve the problem quickly,” the Ambassador continued.

He reminded that Lithuania had negotiated that Russia would not apply customs procedures targeting a specific country upon accession to the WTO.