Russia assures WTO that US violates rights of Russian citizens

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Russia has submitted a communiqué to the World Trade Organization (WTO) claiming that the US doesn’t fulfill its trade obligations, a source told Interfax.

Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev, while speaking in the State Duma last week, said that Russia had already stated its position orally to the WTO. Russia thinks that the US sanctions against Russia’s bank violate the US obligation as a member of the WTO.

The communiqué doesn’t imply that Russia has filed a suit. However, it should attract the attention of the WTO members to the fact that the US doesn’t fulfill its obligations. The source also said that the document wasn’t public.

The source saw the text of the communiqué; it says that the US President ordered to impose sanctions against particular Russia’s citizens and the bank “Russia”. The sanctions stipulate that the bank accounts of these particular people and the up-mentioned bank are blocked on the territory of the US.

“Russia is concerned about the content of the sanctions and their actual use,” the source cited the communiqué.

In its communiqué Russia drew the US attention to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as well as to the list of specific obligations.

Russia thinks that these obligations don’t let the US take actions that can violate the rights of those Russian providers of services, who work in the US or cooperate with their American partners.

“The blocking of bank accounts is applied to every Russian citizen, who conducts his or her operations in any sector of Russian economy. That’s why this measure violates the rights of Russian providers of services, who conduct their operation a priori in all sectors of the US economics. Thus, these measures are not compatible with the US obligations within the WTO,” the source cites the communiqué.

Russia thinks that the sanctions put Russian providers of services and their services in worse position than providers from other countries. This contradicts to the article №2 of the GATS.

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