G7 nations to strip Russia of ‘most favoured nation’ status

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The move will revoke important benefits of Russia’s membership of the World Trade Organization and ensure that the products of Russian companies no longer receive Most-Favoured-Nation treatment in G7 economies, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Amid escalating war between Russia and Ukraine that entered sixteenth day, G7 nations along with European Union, called for revoking “most favoured nation” status for Russia.

“This will revoke important benefits of Russia’s membership of the World Trade Organization and ensure that the products of Russian companies no longer receive Most-Favoured-Nation treatment in our economies,” the G7 leaders said in a joint statement.

It also welcomed the ongoing preparation of a statement by a broad coalition of WTO members, including the G7, announcing their revocation of Russia’s Most-Favoured-Nation status.

The move would hold Russian President Vladimir Putin “even more accountable for his aggression against Ukraine,” said US President Joe Biden. “Each of our nations will take steps to deny ‘most favoured nation’ status to Russia,” added Biden.

A most favoured nation status designation means two countries have agreed to trade with each other under the best possible terms — low tariffs, few barriers to trade and the highest possible imports allowed.

Each country is expected to implement this measure based on its own national processes.

Phasing out Russian energy dependency

European Union on Friday said that it will table proposals by the end of May to phase out the dependency of European Nations on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen in a tweet wrote, “By end of May we will propose to phase out our dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027. It will be backed by the necessary national and European resources. And we’ll present options to optimise the electricity market design, so it better supports the green transition.”

The EU has also announced a Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme for Ukraine at this time of war. European Union on Friday (Local Time) disbursed EUR 300 million, the first payment of a EUR 1.2 billion package to support war-torn Ukraine.

This is the initial part of the first EUR 600 million instalments under Ukraine’s new EUR 1.2 billion emergency MFA programme. A further disbursement of EUR 300 million is expected to take place next week. The programme represents a concrete demonstration of the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine, an EU statement read.

“The disbursement of funds has been fast-tracked to help enhance Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability in the context of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” said the EU statement.

The disbursement comes following a swift adoption of the Commission’s proposal for a new emergency programme by the Council and the European Parliament.

Chemical weapons

US President Joe Biden warned that Russia will pay a “severe price” if the country uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.

“I am not going to speak about the intelligence, but Russia will pay a severe price if they use chemicals,” Biden told CNN announcing further sanctions and export controls against Russia.

The US government has previously found that the Russian government used chemical weapons in both the 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and in 2018 against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in England, reported CNN.

Both determinations by the US led to sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, which requires the President to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions if a country is found to have used chemical weapons.

Additionally, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is supported by Russia, used chemical weapons in an attack in 2017.

Biden also said the G7 is adding sanctions to more Russian oligarchs and their families as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

“The G7 also stepping up pressure on corrupt Russian billionaires. We’re adding new names to the list of oligarchs and their families that we’re targeting, and we’re increasing coordination among the G7 countries to target and capture their ill-begotten gains,” Biden said at the White House.

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