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Georgia-Russia WTO talks very difficult – foreign minister

September 13, 2011, 16:37 UTC+3

Georgian-Russian WTO talks resumed in Berne with Switzerland's mediation in March

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TBILISI, September 13 (Itar-Tass) — Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said the talks with Russia over its joining the World Trade Organization have been very difficult. The previous round of talks in Switzerland was uneventful, but the talks will continue, the minister said.

"These are very difficult talks. Both sides know each other' positions; Georgia keeps agreeing to compromises whereas Russia very stubbornly sticks to its stance," Vashadze said.

The minister did not elaborate citing an agreement between the parties not to comment on details.

In June, Vashadze said "Georgia is expecting mutually acceptable solutions at the WTO talks with Russia,"

"Georgia is sitting down at the negotiating table not for blocking Russia’s joining the World Trade Organization, but for reaching the solutions mutually acceptable for both parties," the minister said then.

Georgian-Russian WTO talks resumed in Berne with Switzerland's mediation in March.

The Georgian authorities stated that "Georgia's demands remain unchanged, i.e. Russia must fulfil the commitments it signed in 2004. They envision trade with Georgia through legal checkpoints and the legalization of customs checkpoints on the Abkhazian and South Ossetian stretches of the Georgian-Russian state border."


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