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Georgian Negotiator: 'We Have WTO Deal with Russia'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Nov.'11 / 22:13

President Saakashvili standing in front of Georgia’s map in the yard of his house in Kvareli, eastern region of Kakheti, on November 3. With a pointer he was indicating on the locations on the border where monitors from a private company are expected to be stationed. He said the WTO deal with Russia was “a diplomatic victory” for Georgia. Photo from Georgian President’s website.

Georgian negotiator in the Swiss-mediated WTO talks with Moscow, Sergi Kapanadze, said on November 4, that an agreement had been reached with Russia and only technical issues are remaining, which should be settled in next five days.

“We have an agreement with Russia,” Sergi Kapanadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said after talks in Geneva. “We are glad that they [the Russian side] finally were able to accept the final Swiss proposal. Initialing of the agreement will happen tomorrow in Geneva.”

He said that the text of the agreement “is the same”, which Georgia had accepted last week.

“We will have technical work remaining next week, but hopefully there will be no complications as we have agreement over the text now,” Kapanadze said.

He also said that next week the Swiss mediators would provide the text of the mandate that it would confer to a neutral private company.

According to the deal observers from a private company will be stationed at the both ends of so called "trade corridors", but not inside of these corridors, meaning that they will not be stationed inside the breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgian officials said last week, that trade corridors, which will be defined by their geographic coordinates not by names, lie through breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The monitoring will also involve Zemo Larsi-Kazbegi border crossing point, which is on the undisputed section of the Georgian-Russian border, outside the breakaway regions.

“We will also have to agree to the text of the contract that Georgia and Russia will sign with the monitors,” Sergi Kapanadze said.

He said that the agreement should be signed before November 10, when the formal meeting of the WTO working party on Russia’s accession is scheduled.

Negotiations on the accession of a new member to WTO are held within a working party, uniting countries that have unsettled trade issues with a candidate country. The meeting is expected to approve the Russia’s draft accession document, a voluminous report detailing conditions for joining the organization.

“We have also agreed to the text of the working party report on Russia’s accession, which relates its WTO related commitments to Georgia,” Kapanadze said.

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