Ukraine has lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) demanding that the Russian Federation immediately lift trade bans on the shipment of confectionery products of the Ukrainian corporation Roshen that were imposed by Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare in late July 2013, reports UNIAN on March 31.
In a statement presented at the meeting of the WTO Committee on Technical Trade Barriers, March 19-20, and published on the organization’s site, Ukraine also requests that Russia provide specific reasons for implementing the discriminatory measures against Roshen.
Furthermore, Ukraine states that it has not yet received a formal report on inspections of Roshen’s confectionery manufacturing plants in Ukraine, which the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare carried out in November last year. Ukraine also states that the Russian delegation conducting these inspections included representatives from Roshen’s Russian competitor, “United Confectioners.”
Additionally, the Ukrainian side states that Roshen products have been tested in accredited laboratories and that test results meet Russian requirements for food products. Based on these developments, Ukraine believes that Russia’s imposition of a ban on the delivery of the confectionery products is specifically discriminatory toward the Roshen corporation and that Roshen’s products are subject to more stringent requirements than similar products from Russia or other countries.
As UNIAN reported previously, in late July 2013, the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare banned the import to Russia of the products manufactured by Ukrainian companies of the Roshen corporation due to inferior quality. The Russian Federal Service carried out inspections of the company’s factories last year but refused to provide the protocols followed during the inspections, even though it announced that Roshen products did not meet Russia’s health requirements. The Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine called this conclusion a “naked lie.” Roshen’s production continues to be banned from the Russian market and the Russian Ministry continues to insist that the company does not meet its requirements. As a result of the trade restrictions, Roshen closed its Mariyupil confectionery factory in early 2014 .
Roshen Corporation, which is one of Ukraine’s largest confectionery manufacturers, has confectionery factories in Kyiv, Vynnytsia, Mariyupil (Donetsk Oblast), Kremenchutsk (Poltava Oblast) and the “Bershadmoloko” dairy plant in Vynnytsia Oblast. It also has confectionery factories in Lipetsk, Russian Federation, and Klaipėda, Lithuania.
As previously reported, on March 19, 2014, members of the Russian riot police OMON, under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, seized the Roshen factory in Lipetsk, Russia, without providing any documentation granting them permission to break into the property and suspend its production.
At that time, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development issued a joint statement, posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website, maintaining that the seizure of Roshen property on the territory of the Russian Federation was a logical continuation of a politically motivated campaign that had been launched against the Ukrainian investor still last year during the import bans.
“At present there is reason to believe that Russian authorities are moving to actual confiscation of Roshen plants located in Russia in violation of the fundamental principle of the inviolability of private property that is guaranteed by international law, in particular Article 1 of Protocol No 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and also Article 35 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. With this incident, the Russian government sets a dangerous precedent that can boomerang,” the Ministries stated.
“The new Ukrainian government, despite Russia’s aggression in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which is an integral part of Ukraine, guarantees and respects the rights of Russian investors in Ukraine, as well as those of other countries. We expect a similar position regarding Ukrainian investors in Russia,” the statement concluded.”
Translated from Ukrainian by Anna Mostovych