In a statement the European Union said, it aims to suspend the ‘most-favoured nation’ (MFN) status for Russia at the World Trade Organization over its invasion of Ukraine. If it does that the EU will be able to hike tariffs or set quotas on Russian imports.
“We are discussing options available to us in the WTO context. This includes the possibility of removing MFN treatment to Russia on the basis of the WTO national security exception,” said a spokesperson for European Commission.
Trade representatives from EU countries are due to discuss options in Brussels later today.
According to data from WTO, excluding bilateral trade agreements, the European Union, on average, applied tariffs of 5.1% on imports from WTO members in 2019, with higher rates for agricultural products than for industrial goods.
In 2020, EU imports from Russia were worth $105.4 billion (95.3 billion euros), with around 70% of them being oil and gas, sizeable chunks agriculture and raw materials, chemicals, iron and steel.
($1 = 0.9043 euros)