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Georgian Deputy FM on Russia’s WTO Bid
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Sep.'11 / 19:17

Like many others, Georgia is also interested in Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization before the end of this year, but the progress fully depends on Russia’s willingness to compromise in talks with Georgia, Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on Monday.

Georgia said that the fifth round of the Swiss-mediated talks over Russia’s WTO entry terms failed to yield any result this month. Tbilisi insists on transparency of trade across the disputed borders in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia through exchange of advance cargo information and international monitoring of border crossing points.

“It is well known that many states are interested in Russia’s accession to WTO by the end of this year; by the way Georgia is among those states,” Kalandadze said at a news conference when asked about WTO Director General Pascal Lamy’s remarks, who said that end of Russia’s bid to join WTO “is in sight.”

“We believe that this is the organization capable to put Russia’s trade relations into the civilized frames,” Kalandadze said.

She said that likelihood of Russia’s WTO accession by the end of this year “fully depends on how constructive Russia will be in talks with Georgia and to what extent it will be capable to compromise.”

Russia’s Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on September 16, that possibility of Russia’s WTO accession at the organization’s ministerial meeting in December were “very slim”, but chances “still exist”.

After listing some of the remaining unresolved issues on Russia’s WTO path, she also told journalists on a sideline of economic forum in the Russian resort town of Sochi, that “situation is difficult with Georgia.”

“I don’t see any progress,” she was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia’s Finance Minister, Alexei Kudrin, said on September 13, that Moscow had not given up on the possibility of securing membership at the WTO ministerial meeting in December.

“There is just one small point that has not been agreed with the European Union,” Reuters reported quoting Kudrin.

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