MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union’s latest sanctions against Russia contradict the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Russia will use the global trade body’s mechanisms to have them cancelled, Russia’s envoy to the EU said Friday.
“[The EU sanctions] need to be analyzed from the legal point of view to establish how they correspond to WTO norms and rules, but, at first sight, they contradict these norms and rules. In this case, undoubtedly, Russia will seek a WTO action in order to have them cancelled,” Vladimir Chizhov said.
In July, the European Union and the United States announced new economic sanctions against Russia amid the Ukrainian crisis.
The 28 member-bloc imposed a third round of penalties that limited Russian state-owned financial institutions' access to EU capital markets, imposed an embargo on trade in arms, established an export ban for dual-use goods for military end users, and curtailed Russian access to sensitive technologies, particularly in the oil sector.
The EU also extended the list of entities and individuals targeted by sanctions over their alleged roles in the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. The new additions brought the number of individuals and entities under EU restrictions to 95 and 23, respectively.
The United States also imposed new economic sanctions against Russia on July 29, targeting three major banks — VTB Group, Bank of Moscow and Rosselkhozbank.
On July 16, Washington introduced the so-called Sectoral Sanctions Identification List that specifically targeted the defense, energy and banking sectors of the Russian economy.
The first round of sanctions against Russia was implemented by the United States and the European Union back in March as a response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia following a referendum.
Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, and called the language of sanctions counterproductive, warning that such measures would have a boomerang effect on Western economies.