BRUSSELS, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) Tuesday launched a case in the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Russia's ban on imports of pork from the EU, a statement said.
A ban on the pig products from EU countries was introduced at the end of January in the wake of an upsurge of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the territory of the EU.
"Russia's blanket ban on European pork goes against WTO rules. Europe will defend its pork producers and in this respect has no choice anymore but to pursue this case at the WTO," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
The trade ban has exposed the EU farming sector to significant losses. Bilateral discussions with Moscow have not brought any results thus far, the EU statement said.
EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said: "This disproportionate ban is having a major financial impact on our European pig industry and cannot go unchallenged."
In 2013, the value of EU pork exports to Russia reached 1.4 billion euros (1.93 billion U.S. dollars), which was around 25 percent of all EU exports. The ban has a severe impact on the EU pig industry with a decrease of price and oversupply of pork on the EU market.