Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 51

Only weeks after a series of clashes between the European Union and Russia over Moscow’s threats to raise import tariffs on European goods (See Monitor, February 21 & March 4), the two sides found themselves at it again yesterday following the Kremlin’s announcement that it would hike the minimum import prices of European vodka. As it had earlier, the European Commission warned that such measures could undermine EU support for Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The EU exported some $188 million worth of vodka to Russia in the first eight months of last year. But more vexing to Brussels has been the fact that Russia’s actions have followed on the heels of an interim trade agreement — which stipulates negotiations in such situations — and come after European leaders backed Russia’s controversial admission to the Council of Europe. (5)

…As Party Leaders Slam Moscow on NATO, Rights Abuses.