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Separating the political from the economic: the Russia–traffic in transit panel report

Crivelli, Pramila and Pinchis-paulsen, Mona (2021) Separating the political from the economic: the Russia–traffic in transit panel report. World Trade Review. ISSN 1474-7456

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1474745621000197

Abstract

This paper reviews the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel Report Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic in Transit of April 2019. It constitutes the first attempt to disentangle the legal and political aspects related to the invoked essential security interests from the economic considerations underlying the measures imposed on the transit through Russia of goods exported from Ukraine to the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. One the one hand, the panel’s interpretation of Article XXI of the GATT denies Members unilateral determination over security exceptions. It further enables a pathway for future WTO panels to review possible abuses of security exceptions – a growing concern due to the rising complexity of transnational economic relations. On the other hand, our economic analysis suggests a stricter assessment of Russia’s transit restrictions was necessary. In particular, it argues that the panel adopted a circular assessment when considering the plausibility of whether Russia implemented its measures for the protection of its essential security interests at a time of emergency in international relations. Ultimately, although the panel’s focus on finding a diplomatic and legal path forward failed economic scrutiny a legal assessment argues that the panel’s findings fit the legal design of Article XXI:b of the GATT.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/world-trad...
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
J Political Science > JZ International relations
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 23:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/111027

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