The IUP Journal of International Relations
The Role of WTO Dispute Settlement Institutions in Promoting the Rule of Law Over Power Orientation in the Russia-EU Trade Relationship

Article Details
Pub. Date : April, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of International Relations
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR40321
Author Name : Henrik Andersen
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 26



When Russia in 2012 joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), it also moved its bilateral power-oriented trade relationship with the European Union (EU) into a more rule of law-based framework. This paper addresses the WTO dispute settlement system's role in settling disputes relevant to the Russia-EU trade relationship. The rule of law-based framework can prove essential for businesses engaged in EU-Russia trade as it strengthens legal certainty. The paper addresses two dimensions where the WTO dispute settlement system has strengthened legal certainty: (1) by clarifying the legal value of the dispute settlement reports; and (2) by handling and clarifying the interface between trade law and environmental law, where the latter may have an impact on climate change law.


In 2012, Russia became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). By joining the WTO, a new institutional framework came into force in the trade relationship between Russia and the European Union (EU), which has been a member of the WTO since 1995 when the WTO came into being. Until Russia's membership of the WTO, the trade relationship between Russia and the EU was based on bilateral agreements. Russia's WTO membership improved the legal dimension of the trade relations between the EU and Russia as it has moved their interrelationship into a more detailed legal framework concerning inter alia anti-dumping, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, energy issues, and issues related to raw materials.1 By joining the WTO, Russia has also accepted that legal issues related to trade are settled in the WTO institutional framework by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). Not only does it leave decisions to a third party institution, but it also promotes legal certainty that is essential for businesses involved in Russia-EU trade. That is a result of the rule of law developments by the WTO quasi-judicial bodies. If WTO parties in a dispute cannot solve the legal issue through negotiation, a panel will be established. The panel will provide a