INTERVIEW: Russia sees no signals US intends to stop protectionism
MOSCOW, Aug 22 (PRIME) -- The U.S. government’s actions give reason to assume that protective measures will be expanded, Maxim Medvedkov, director of the Economic Development Ministry’s trade negotiations department, told PRIME in an interview on Wednesday.
“There are no signals that the U.S. intends to stop its policy of unilateral protectionist measures covered by “security concerns.” On the contrary, the U.S. continues its internal procedures which will help them spread protective measures on other sectors in the near future,” he said.
“Protectionism is growing, and the difference is only that for all countries, except the U.S., these are forced measures. This is reaction to the threats arising from Washington’s actions. All without exception, both Russia and those who managed to agree with the U.S., will feel the effect from the unilateral restrictive measures,” he said.
Russia offers members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to act with a common stance against protectionism in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Medvedkov said.
“The BRICS ministers favor this position. We stand as a united front on the issue of countering the unilateral restrictive measures. In the EAEU, we’ve proposed to coordinate the position with respect to the most important elements of the organization’s policy, a relevant meeting may take place in the coming weeks, we hope a lot that the partners will support us,” he said.
Medvedkov also said that the Economic Development Ministry is discussing the issue of further actions within the WTO on the energy dispute between Russia and the E.U.
Earlier in August, the ministry said that the WTO backed Russia on key issues of its dispute with the E.U. over the third energy package.
“Gas is sold by Gazprom, and it seems that it is not disappointed by the results at all. We are discussing further steps,” Medvedkov said.
Russia intends to participate actively in discussion of the reform of the WTO and expects that the unfavorable background due to excessive regulation of the WTO and inability to withstand the challenges will spur this discussion, Medvedkov also said.
He also said that the E.U.’s support of the U.S.’ position in the trade dispute with China would be strange and short-sighted, as the U.S. methods contradict norms of the WTO.
Russia depends on global trade too much and can’t afford to neglect the WTO rules, Medvedkov also said.