Georgian and Russian experts will meet in Prague on July 7 for technical consultations to discuss potential effects of Georgia’s deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) with the EU on bilateral Georgian-Russian trade.
“It will be purely technical meeting to discuss new conditions brought by DCFTA and issues that will have to be taken into consideration in our bilateral trade ties [with] Russia will be identified,” Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, said on June 30, adding that an official from the Georgian Foreign Ministry will also participate in the meeting.
“More such meetings will follow if need be and EU representatives will also participate if necessary,” she said at a joint news conference with her Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, in Tbilisi.
Asked if there is necessity for the EU to also be engaged in technical meeting on trade between Russia and Georgia, the Swedish Foreign Minister responded: “Not necessarily, but that’s in the hands of Georgia.”
Georgian PM’s special representatives for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, said last week that he does not expect any “dramatic” change in bilateral trade between Georgia and Russia. Abashidze’s next meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin will be held in Prague after the meeting Russian and Georgian experts.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said last week that Moscow is ready for consultations with Tbilisi on trade issues. He also said that although Georgia is not a full-fledged member of free trade regime within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), it still enjoys with number of preferential trade arrangements within CIS.