MOSCOW, January 17 - RAPSI. Russia may resolve its vehicle recycling tax dispute with fellow World Trade Organization members without resorting to legal means. However, if its efforts to do so fail, the dispute will have to be resolved officially in court, WTO General Director Pascal Lamy said on Thursday.

Lamy refused to discuss whether the introduction of the tax complies with the obligations that Russia undertook during its negotiations to join the WTO. However, he said Russia should not discriminate against imports for the sake of domestic production based on its WTO obligations.

He added that the WTO has a well-developed system for resolving these types of disputes. If any number of members believes that a fellow member has violated the organization's regulations, they can file a complaint that is first evaluated by experts and then forwarded to an appeals court.

The dispute is then resolved by court ruling.

Maksim Medvedkov, the head of the Economic Development Ministry's Trading Negotiations Department, reported earlier that the WTO has received official complaints against Russia due to the country's introduction of the vehicle recycling tax and bans on U.S. meat and EU cattle imports.

Medvedkov said the WTO court has not yet received complaints as a result of Russias implementing protective measures.

Meanwhile, Lamy said the length of the term for resolving these complaints against Russia out of court will depend on who filed the original complaints, and when they were submitted.

He stressed that according to WTO procedures all disputes pass through the pretrial stage to allow the parties to find a compromise. If no compromise is reached, legal actions may ensue.