It has evoked a national security exception. Such a measure would allow the EU to apply higher tariffs on Russian imports or to even impose bans. At a meeting of the EU Council’s Trade Policy Committee on Friday 4 March, there was broad support for excluding Russia from this equal treatment principle. The EU is therefore due to move forward with preparing and adopting this unilateral measure towards Russia.
The Commission would like to be able to first count on the support of its partners who share the same values, through the adoption of a joint declaration. On Friday, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, Bernd Lange (S&D, Germany), spoke in favour of the measure, saying there was a balance to be struck “between punishing those who are responsible for the aggression and maintaining a rules-based trading system that is already under threat”.