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WTO May Soon Halt US Sanctions on Russia Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 01:24 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin may soon score another diplomatic victory against US President Barack Obama. Moscow is planning to file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization to halt US sanctions imposed on Russia.

The Moscow Times reports that, "Russia is considering filing a lawsuit against the U.S. with the World Trade Organization, or WTO, over sanctions against Russian banks, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said. St. Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya was sanctioned alongside its chairman and largest shareholder Yuri Kovalchuk in March as part of punitive measures by Washington over Russia's annexation of Crimea."

The lawsuit would be very effective, because once a lawsuit gets filed with the WTO, a World Court must order the US to halt sanctions until a verdict gets reached, and that could take many years. Russian lawyers just need to file extensions and injunctions to delay a court decision.

According to the Moscow Times, "Russian bank SMP was also indirectly affected as co-owners Boris Rotenberg and his older brother Arkady fell under U.S. sanctions. SMP chief executive Dmitry Kalantyrsky has said that an estimated 9 billion rubles ($249 million) had been withdrawn after the sanctions were imposed."

Ironically, it was Obama who painted himself in the corner. A few years ago, he signed up the US as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This means that Russia can file lawsuits against the US in the Hague, and there's nothing the White House can do to prevent that.

To read the entire article from the Moscow Times, link here:

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