WTO Backs Russia in Fertilizer Feud with Ukraine

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has backed Russia in its dispute with Ukraine over Kiev’s anti-dumping measures imposed in 2014 on Russian ammonium nitrate used as fertilizer, Kommersant writes.

The organization’s panel noted that Ukraine was also wrong when adjusting prices for Russian gas. Kiev followed the EU in implementing the tactics aimed at Russia’s imports. However, lawyers say the ruling should not create a precedent and entail a widespread cancellation of anti-dumping measures.

Before the Ukrainian conflict, Russia had accounted for nearly 90% of the local market of nitrogen fertilizers and consumers opposed the restrictions. Later, Kiev consistently blocked such imports. In March 2018, Ukraine vowed to impose a full embargo on imports of Russian fertilizers and again increased anti-dumping duties for ammonium nitrate to 29-43%. 

The company producing the fertilizer, Swiss-based, Russian-owned EuroChem, was forced to sell its subsidiary in Ukraine and leave the market, condemning the moves by local authorities.

Now, EuroChem says the WTO’s stance confirms that Ukraine illegally used trade restrictions against the company. However, the producer said it was too early to speak about resuming its supplies to Ukraine since the ruling may be appealed.

After the WTO’s decision, Russia’s Economy Ministry said that “this is Russia’s first victory in the WTO.”