The Economic Sanctions Over the Ukraine Conflict and the WTO: 'Catch-XXI' and the Revival of the Debate on Security Exceptions

Journal of World Trade, 2015, Vol. 49, No. 5, pp. 891-914

Posted: 27 Apr 2016

See all articles by Rostam J. Neuwirth

Rostam J. Neuwirth

University of Macau - Faculty of Law, E32

Alexandr Svetlicinii

University of Macau - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The international conflict over the events in Ukraine led to the application of unilateral restrictive measures by the parties involved the European Union, the United States and the Russian Federation all of which are World Trade Organization (WTO) members and permanent members of the UN Security Council. It has been alleged by all sides that specified restrictions on trade in goods and services may constitute a violation of WTO obligations. The possibility of a challenge of the restrictive measures using the WTO dispute settlement mechanism revived the debate on the invocation of security exceptions allowing WTO members to apply otherwise inconsistent measures justified by their 'essential security interests'. The present article aims at providing a critical analysis of the restrictive measures adopted by the parties and the perspectives for invoking the security exception in case of eventual WTO dispute settlement. The article highlights the ambiguity in the interpretation of the security exceptions and questions the suitability of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism for the resolution of the current Ukraine crisis.

Keywords: WTO, dispute settlement, enforcement, sanctions, European Union, United States, Russia, Ukraine, GATT, national security

Suggested Citation

Neuwirth, Rostam Josef and Svetlicinii, Alexandr, The Economic Sanctions Over the Ukraine Conflict and the WTO: 'Catch-XXI' and the Revival of the Debate on Security Exceptions (2015). Journal of World Trade, 2015, Vol. 49, No. 5, pp. 891-914, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2770264

Rostam Josef Neuwirth

University of Macau - Faculty of Law, E32 ( email )

Avenida da Universidade
Taipa, Macau
Macau
+(853) 8822-4085 (Phone)
+(853) 8822-2380 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.umac.mo/fll/

Alexandr Svetlicinii (Contact Author)

University of Macau - Faculty of Law ( email )

Macau

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