Russia complains sanctions against it break WTO rules

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Vladimir Putin feels his nation is being unfairly treated as levies and trade bans begin to bite.

Russia has complained that the trade sanctions put in place against it over the invasion of Ukraine go against World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and are therefore unjust. 
Speaking at a government meeting of the metals industry, Russian president Vladimir Putin said Western states have created trade barriers that prevent his nation from buying the components it needs to produce products such as steel sheets and rolled metal. 
“These measures (sanctions) run counter to WTO principles, to which European colleagues have constantly reiterated their adherence,” Reuters quoted Mr Putin as saying. 
Moscow also referred to these countries as ‘unfriendly’ and warned it would be coming up with a strategy to combat the sanctions. The government there has been ordered to update its strategy on the WTO by June 1st 2022. 
The Russian Federation has been a member of the WTO since 2012, but some Western nations began discussing how it could be excluded from it after the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. 
However, there is no specific expulsion process and no precedent that it could be compared against. In order to remove Russia from the WTO completely, a two-thirds majority would be needed to even create an expulsion strategy, followed by a three-quarters majority to implement it. 
In the meantime, the west has been making do with sanctions such as the US ban on all Russian oil and gas imports and the UK’s promise to phase them out by the end of this year. The EU, which gets some 40 per cent of its gas from Russia, has promised to establish other suppliers by 2030. 
There are also bans on the export of luxury goods to Russia and high customs duties on products coming from the Black Sea nation, including vodka. 
It is not yet clear what Putin’s new strategy with regard to the WTO could be, but he is likely to find complaints about poor treatment falling upon deaf ears.