INTERNATIONAL & COMPARATIVE LAW
Ukraine wants to join the EU dispute against Russia
In accordance with the request to join the consultations between the EU and Russia on the dispute in respect of excessive import duties, Ukraine has in this substantial trade interest in this dispute as a producer and exporter of agricultural and industrial products.
As previously reported, the EU has initiated consultations on inflated import duties appliable in Russia. According to the EU, the import duties on several products exceed binding rates, comitted during accession of Russia to the WTO.
Ukraine in a statement of 10 November 2014 sent to the delegations of Russia, the EU and the chairman of the Dispute Settlement Body (General Council) of the WTO, states, that it has a substantial trade interest in this dispute, as it is a significant producer and exporter of agriculture and industrial products. In this regard, Ukraine has a "systemic interest in the application and interpretation of the relevant WTO agreements".
In accordance with para. 11 Art. 4 of Understanding on Dispute Settlement, when a Member State, other than the originally involved in the consultations of the state believes that it has a substantial trade interest in the framework of these consultations, it shall notify States-in-consultations and the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO within 10 days after the date of the original reqest.
This member can enter into consultations if the State that is respondent in initial request for consultations (in this case - Russia), agrees that the application of such a third country on the presence of his substantial interest is well-founded. In this case, they must notify the Dispute Settlement Body. If the connection request for consultations is not accepted, the third State is free to seek advice.
In respect of the request for consultations, it should be noted that it points the interest in the form of "application and interpretation agreements." Such interest is not "substantial trade" interest as it is not directly related to trade.
In this regard, we believe that the Russian Federation has every reason to refuse request of Ukrine to join the consultations on the dispute initiated by the EU.