Georgia will give its go-ahead to Russia’s WTO accession if Moscow follows its commitment to carry out trade with Georgia only through legally operating border checkpoints, Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli told reporters in Brussels on November 13.
“Our position towards this issue is absolutely clear. In 2004 we held negotiations with Russia during which we agreed that we will support Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization and Russia will accordingly carry on foreign trade with Georgia through legal border checkpoints. We naturally demand that Russia keep its promise and implement the achieved agreement. We do not raise any additional requirements,” Nogaideli told reporters in Brussels.
Tbilisi is insistently calling on Russia to put an end to the illegal operation of two border checkpoints - Adleri-Leselidze, at the border between Russia and breakaway Abkhazia, and the Roki Tunnel, at the border between Russia and breakaway South Ossetia.
Russia cleared a major obstacle on its way to WTO accession after the U.S. agreed in principle to approve Russia's membership. The two countries are now expected to sign a deal on WTO accession when George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin meet at a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vietnam this week.
After the U.S. Russia will have to finalize its accession talks with Georgia, Moldova and Costa Rica.