October 23, 2013
Officials from the European Commission (EC) confirmed that the EU has warned Russia over a ban on Lithuanian dairy imports during a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting.
"It seems to us that the measures are not proportional and are not scientifically justified," says a EU statement.
According to the statement, Russia introduced the ban on Lithuanian dairy products on October 7, 2013, but only notified the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee on October 11.
"This is in contradiction with the transparency obligations of Russia. We are looking into the justification provided by the Russian authorities. We are in touch with the authorities concerned and hope that an agreed solution can be found in order to stop this measure," the statement said.
Lithuania and EC officials believe that Russia introduced trade restrictions on Lithuanian goods on political grounds. Lithuania, which holds the EU presidency in the second half of 2013, actively supports the Eastern Partnership programme aimed at bringing post-Soviet states closer to the EU.
Meanwhile, Russia is attempting to expand its influence in the post-Soviet region by strengthening the Customs Union which sees the memberships of Kazakhstan and Belarus.