Russia Mulls WTO Action Against EU
Jamaica-Russia relations date back to 1975, which were reaffirmed after the break-up of the Soviet Union. – File David Jessop, Contributor Over the last two to three years, Russian interest in the Caribbean has been growing; so that today Moscow’s diplomatic profile and its economic presence in a number of Caribbean nations is now stronger than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Although Russia’s interest is on a much smaller scale to that of China, its presence, its alternative approach on foreign-policy issues, its economic interest, and its re-engagement with a changing Cuba, represents a significant alternative in the broadening spectrum of Caribbean relationships. As such, it reinforces the view that newer actors may gradually rebalance the historic dominance of Europe and North America. At its most obvious, the new Russian presence in the Caribbean is demonstrated in the form of its tourists coming into the region in rapidly increasing numbers, enabling the sector to diversify its source markets and grow again an industry suffering from increased global competition, slow economic recovery and an early start in tourism. More Russian visitors Until two years ago, Cuba was the only Caribbean destination for Russian visitors – 76,500 arrivals in 2012 – but now, so rapidly have Russian numbers to the Dominican Republic increased, that Russia has overtaken Germany as a source market and may soon do the same in relation to France, its third largest market after the United States and Canada. According to Dominican Republic tourism officials, some 158,415 Russian visitors visited the country in 2012, a figure 35 per cent higher than in the previous year, and one that they hope will grow by around 51 per cent this year. In part, this reflects the huge investment the country has put into promoting itself in Russia as a part of its drive to develop new source markets. But more significantly, it speaks to the Dominican Republic’s ability to incentivise and grow airlift, so that there are now 12 scheduled flights a week from Moscow and St Petersburg, with charters additionally coming from both cities and Ekaterinburg. Moreover, Russian visitors fit the profile most sought after by the tourism sector in the Caribbean. Most are aged between 25 and 45, come from an educated, upper upper-middle class demographic, have high purchasing power, and increasingly want sun, sea and to shop ideally where some Russian is spoken; a challenge the Dominican Republic is rising to. What this suggests is that most of the Anglophone Caribbean has some catching up to do. So far, Jamaica is the only Caricom nation actively courting Russian tourists, receiving a twice weekly service from Moscow into Montego Bay. However, Barbados, The Bahamas and some Eastern Caribbean nations have also begun to consider the possibilities, although in some cases runway extensions may be required to facilitate the high take-off weight of long east-bound flights.
We are seriously looking at the course of our claims within the WTO on a whole range of issues, Russian deputy economic development minister Alexei Likhachev told reporters in Indonesia in response to a question about solving disagreements with the EU. Likhachev said Sunday that the energy sphere wasa likely to be the focus of any formal application by Russia against the EU within the framework of the WTO. Russian officials have repeatedly criticized EU energy legislation, which splits natural gas transmission networks off from producers, and maintain that it is targeted at Russian state owned gas giant Gazprom. Russia joined the WTO after almost 20 years of negotiations in 2012, and is already locked in formal trade disputes with fellow members including the EU and Japan. RIA Novosti. History and functions of the World Trade Organization The EU, which claims that Russia is illegally protecting its carmakers with a recycling fee on imported cars, became the first WTO member to use the international trading club to lodge an complaint against Moscow in July. Japan followed shortly afterwards, and the United States has said that it will also take part. Relations between Russia and the EU have become increasingly strained within recent months ahead of summit in November that is expected to see the signing of a series of trade agreements between the EU and a group of ex-Soviet states, most notably Ukraine. You may place this material on your blog by copying the link. Publication code:
PM to embark on visit to Russia, China from Oct 20
The first leg from October 20 to 22 in Russia will see the Prime Minister holding talks on important issues such as nuclear cooperation, trade and defence. Dr. Singh will on October 22 travel from Moscow to Beijing where he is expected to articulate Indias concerns over trans-border rivers, trade deficit and boundary incidents. Significantly, after the recently-concluded India Russia Inter Governmental Commission meeting in Moscow, the indications are that the two countries have made progress to clear the nuclear liability issue, crucial for a contract for supply of Russian reactors for Units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP). It is understood that hectic parleys were on to conclude the tehno-commercial negotiations for the Unit 3 and 4 of KNPP) ahead of Singhs visit and officials are hoping to ink it after the talks between the two sides. The effort is to basically match Indias Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CNLD) Act, 2010 and the internationally and nationally accepted principles. Another crucial issue would be Russias investment in telecom sector with Russian giant Sistema last week expressing unhappiness over telecom regulator TRAIs recommendations on spectrum auction, saying it created ambiguity and policy uncertainty that would adversely impact its investment plans. Dr. Singh is expected to assure Russian leader on this front. Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd, which offers mobile services under the MTS brand, has protested against TRAI recommendations that the spectrum used by CDMA operators should not be auctioned and a part of it be explored for use by GSM services. Related Content