On 5 April 2019, the WTO circulated the panel report in Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic In Transit (DS512). The decision is the first time that a WTO panel has had to decide the extent of WTO jurisdiction over a claim by a Member that its actions were appropriate under Article XXI, the essential security exemption from WTO rules. Ukraine brought the dispute in September 2016 after the Russian Federation imposed restrictions preventing Ukraine from using roads and railways to trade goods with several former Soviet republics. Ukraine claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:

On 18 March 2019, the Minister for Foreign Affairs announced that Australia was joining the US, UK, Canada and EU member states in imposing targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against seven Russian individuals for their role in the interception and seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels that were attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait. Australia is concerned by this escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov in November 2018.

On March 5, 2019, the Federal Register published Presidential Notice of March 4, 2019 Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Ukraine which extends for an additional year the national emergency first declared by Executive Order (EO) 13660 (March 6, 2014) and expanded by EO 13661 (March 16, 2014) and EO 13662 (March 20, 2014). Additional steps were taken in EO 13685 (December 19, 2014) and EO 13849 (September 20, 2018). The national emergency…

On 21 February, 2019, the Department for International Trade (DIT) issued guidance entitled, Existing trade agreements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, which sets out the status of those agreements (free trade agreements, economic partnership agreements, association agreements and customs union) that may not be in place by exit day. It also links to trade agreements that have been signed and mutual recognition agreements that have been signed.

On 21 December 2018, the Council announced that it prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2019.

This decision follows an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council of 13-14 December 2018 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the sanctions are linked. Given that no progress has been made, the European Council took the political decision to roll-over the economic sanctions against Russia.