Russia files first WTO complaint against European Union

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia has accused the European Union of violating global free trade measures in its first complaint before the World Trade Organisation, the economy ministry said on Tuesday.

The procedure has to do with "a violation by the EU of anti-dumping provisions of the WTO agreement", said spokesman Yulia Chkanikova.

The complaint is the first Russia has filed since it joined the global trade body in August 2012, the economy ministry said.

It also follows complaints by the EU over a Russian car recycling tax imposed on imported vehicles as well as ongoing tension between Moscow and Brussels over several issues like the pro-European protests sweeping Ukraine and the arrest of EU citizens on the crew of Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise protest ship.

The Russian complaint claims that Russian steel manufacturers and fertiliser makers are disadvantaged in the European Union due to existing "energy adjustment" tariffs imposed on Russian products since 2002.

Russia argues that the anti-dumping tariffs have been applied unfairly, making it impossible for Russian companies to export to EU markets that has resulted in losses of "hundreds of millions of dollars every year".

The complaint was sent on Monday to the EU representative at the WTO, the ministry said. Consultations over the matter have to be held over the course of two months, with the first round likely right after the holidays, it said.