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Published: 16 october 2013 13:25

Lithuania's deputy foreign minister: Appeal to WTO over Russian restrictions is option of last resort

Rolandas Kriščiūnas
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Rolandas Kriščiūnas

Lithuania's Foreign Vice-Minister Rolandas Kriščiūnas says that turning to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the Russian move to suspend Lithuanian dairy imports would be an option of last resort.

"WTO is the last resort, which has to be employed after all others have been utilized," Kriščiūnas said at a meeting of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. In his words, the appeal to the WTO could be considered, if the problems with Russia cannot be settled by way of a bilateral dialogue.

The vice-minister also noted that Lithuania has not yet received any official information about the Russian reproaches to the quality and safety of the Lithuanian-made dairy production.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee is discussing the latest information about the situation on the border with Russia and the ban on dairy imports.

After tightening the customs checks of Lithuanian automobiles on the Russian border and of haulers in internal customs more than a month ago, Russia later imposed a ban on dairy imports from Lithuania. The customs checks were later called off, the tightened checks of haulers was annulled on Monday.

Launched last week, the blockade of Lithuanian dairy imports into Russia continues due to what Moscow said was insufficient safety control of the products. Meanwhile, Lithuanian and European Union (EU) officials have dismissed the move as politically motivated.

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