The World Trade Organization (WTO) has identified 71 specific trade and trade-related sanctions on goods imposed by 43 WTO members and one observer on the Russian government between mid-October 2021 and mid-May 2022, according to a July 27 report from its director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Additionally, 39 WTO Members have imposed 75 services trade and trade-related sanctions on the Russian government.
“We should clearly not underestimate the risks generated by the pandemic, which is still very much with us, along with the more recent disruptions associated with the war in Ukraine,” Ms Okonjo-Iweala said in a speech on July 27.
“The global food security situation is a case in point. High prices for food and fertilisers have been met with export restrictions.”
While Russia and Ukraine’s shares of global trade are small, they are “important suppliers” of essential goods, according to the WTO. They made up 25% of wheat exports, 15% of barley exports and 45% of sunflower products exports in 2019.
Ms Okonjo-Iweala added that the WTO’s ongoing monitoring shows that 30 members and observers have introduced 55 measures prohibiting or restricting exports of food, feed and fertilisers since the start of the war in late February. Curretnly, 25 members and observers have 40 measures in place.
The WTO has downgraded its forecasts for world trade over the next two years. In April, the organisation expected merchandise trade volume growth of 3.0% in 2022, up from 4.7% in the previous forecast last October.