Regulating EU-Russia Energy Trade Relations: The WTO Ruling

In a ruling from the WTO, published on 10 August 2018, several of Russia’s arguments regarding the alleged incompatibility of the EU’s energy policy measures with multilateral trade rules were dismissed. But was it a total defeat for Russia? In this podcast Moritz Wüstenberg, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland, discusses the ruling and its wider implications.

Following Russia’s withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty in 2009, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules offer the only comprehensive regulatory framework for EU- Russia energy trading, which means that the compatibility of WTO rules with the EU energy policy is vital. The key ambition of the Third Energy Package was to advance the integration of the internal energy market, and thus it contains legislation on unbundling – the separation of energy supply and generation from the operation of transmission networks, non-discriminatory access to energy infrastructures and the independence of national energy regulators.

Russia had claimed that the EU was discriminating against Russia in the Package with regard to Russian pipeline transport services, service suppliers, and Russian natural gas. What standing does Russia have following the findings in WTO’s panel report? Should the findings of the report be refuted? Take a listen to our podcast to find out more.

Find more information about the WTO report on the case and for a brief history of the case, from the EC perspective.

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