Issue of Russia meeting WTO obligations closed - WTO Director General

The question of Russia meeting its obligations to the World Trade Organization is closed, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said Thursday at the Gaidar Forum in Moscow.

He said Russia has been a member of the trade body for five months already, so the question of the country meeting its obligations is a thing of the past. Now the country can no longer choose whether or not to meet its obligations, it has to do so, Lamy said.

However, he said a different question could arise in whether other WTO members believe that Russia is not fully meeting its obligations. If anyone has any questions, the WTO has a dispute resolution process for this.

On the other hand, if Russia believes that one of its partners is not playing by WTO rules, it can also turn to the WTO.

If a WTO member loses a dispute, it is obligated to comply with the ruling or face sanctions, Lamy said.

Asked whether Russia's introduction of a recycling levy for automobiles is consistent with WTO rules, Lamy declined to give a direct answer, saying he wanted to remain neutral. From a legal point of view, the question is whether the levy restricts imports or exports, he said.

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