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Saakashvili Comments on Russia’s WTO Accession Talks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Jan.'07 / 15:35

Tbilisi wants Russia to legalize trade at the two border crossing points with Georgia located in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a precondition for Georgia’s go-ahead to Russia’s WTO accession, President Saakashvili said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station on January 27.
“We have been pushing for only one major condition – legalize border crossing points at borders. This is a normal demand. Unfortunately, there has not been any serious dialogue over this issue so far. There have been some preliminary promises [by Russia], but these [commitments] have never been fulfilled,” Saakashvili said.

“Maybe the issue will be resolved in the line of this recently promised warming up of ties [between Georgia and Russia],” he added.

“I think that not a single country will compromise at the expense of its territorial integrity and its borders. We are open to search for different kinds of solution... Russia’s WTO membership is in our long-term interests,” Saakashvili stated.

He said “technical talks” over Russia’s WTO accession were held last week in Geneva between Russian and Georgian officials. Russian Economy Minister German Gref said on January 26 that Georgia has not yet removed all of its objections in regard to Russia’s WTO membership, but there has been progress in talks.

“Technical issues [have been discussed] and we do not want to politicize them and to put them up for public discussion,” Saakashvili said.

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