EU seeks WTO action against Russia in trade dispute on car import duty

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BRUSSELS - The European Union has asked the World Trade Organization to settle a dispute with Russia over a car import fee it considers discriminatory.

The European Commission, the 28-nation bloc's executive arm, says Russia's levy has a "severe impact" on a key European industry. The industry exports about 10 billion euros ($13 billion) a year to Russia.

Commissioner Karel De Gucht says the EU has "used all possible avenues to find a mutually acceptable solution" but Russia continues to arbitrarily target EU imports.

He says the EU has asked the WTO to set up a dispute settlement panel. A ruling can take months.

The dispute comes amid a wider rivalry as Russia is trying to win eastern European nations like Ukraine to join its own customs union instead of the EU's.

Organizations: European Union, World Trade Organization, European Commission

Geographic location: Russia, BRUSSELS, Ukraine

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