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ICN Suspends Russia’s Competition Regulator

 |  March 3, 2022

The International Competition Network (ICN), the global body that brings together competition regulators from all over the world, has suspended Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) from participating in all its upcoming events, as announced in a statement.

This move comes after antitrust authorities in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands urged it to take action following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, replicating calls from various other industry associations and individuals.

Related: Baltic Regulators & Ukrainian Scholars Call for Russian Exclusion From ICN

The ICN’s activities are voluntary and rely on a high degree of goodwill and cooperation among members. ICN Members are in continuous contact, working together to improve competition policy and cooperation between authorities. Members of the network regularly meet to develop common standards and exchange views.

Based on Section 3.4 iv (e) of the ICN’s Operational Framework, the Chair is responsible for the “general conduct of the affairs of the ICN where not otherwise specified to be within the responsibility of any Group or Committee.” In light of the current events in Ukraine and their impact on collaboration between ICN members, the Chair made the determination that conditions were not suitable for the cooperation and good relations required.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has greatly increased tensions in Europe and across the world. Among several factors leading up to the war is the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that takes Russian gas to Germany, bypassing the Ukraine. Germany had threatened to stop Nord Stream 2 if Russia invaded, although this has not yet happened after nearly one week of combat between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

The ICN Chair, at the request of Steering Group members and other ICN members, has reviewed FAS Russia’s participation in the network. After consultation with the members of the Steering Group the Chair decided to suspend the FAS’ participation in ICN activities.

The ICN’s move has already been backed by important members, including the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The ICN has said that, should the situation in Ukraine change, they are willing to revise their position on the matter.

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