CWR > Volume 6(2); 2020 > Article
Research Paper
Published online: September 1, 2020

The Elephant in a Dark Room? Russia and the ISDS Reform

Dmitry K. Labin & Alena V. Soloveva
MGIMO University
MGIMO, 76 Prospekt Vernadskogo, Moscow 119454, Russia.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The calls for reform of investment treaty regime are neither novel nor entirely unexpected. And the need for that reform has recently reached its pitiful nadir where the UNCITRAL Working Group III gathered for its first meeting in Vienna back in November-December 2017 to discuss states’ concerns about investor-state dispute settlement. States’ concerns about the reform have been repeatedly referred to in recent publications, but international scholars have not yet discussed Russia's stance in detail. In the following an attempt has been made to fill the gap in literature by introducing the Russian position which contrasts nicely with Canada or the EU. Why is this important? Russia is a significant state in the UNCITRAL Working Group III and any slight shifts in its approach in the UNCITRAL reforms are closely watched. It is the right time to provide an analytical framework for understanding the Russian position in these reform dynamics.

Keywords : ISDS Reform, UNCITRAL, Russia, Investment Treaty Arbitration

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