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TBILISI, October 20 (Itar-Tass) —The major condition for an agreement between Russia and Georgia on the RF’s joining the World Trade Organisation /WTO/ is guaranteed “access for international observes to trade corridors between the countries,” Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze said on Thursday.
He is participating in another round of the Russian-Georgian negotiations on Russia’s membership in the WTO. The negotiations take place in Geneva through the mediation of Switzerland.
“Our position remains the same: we expect that international observers will monitor goods entering and exiting trade corridors,” Kapanadze said. He expressed hope that the Russian side “will change its potion and will agree with these suggestions.”
“Now the ball on the Russian side, and should the Russian side have a constructive approach, its membership in the WTO will become possible,” he said.
On October 14, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Baramidze said he does not rule out a deal of Tbilisi and Moscow in the Russian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“The compromise suggested by Switzerland /monitoring of trade transparency in the Abkhaz and South Ossetian sectors of the Georgian and Russian state borders/ with some modification may lay down the foundation of a Georgia-Russia agreement on the Russian entry into the WTO, although it implies a totally new approach of Russia, which must realize the necessity of every principle and provision of the WTO Charter,” he said.
Georgia could have “demanded the presence of Georgian border guards and customs officers in the Abkhaz and South Ossetian sections of the Georgian-Russian border,” he said, “However, Georgia realizes that this is unrealistic so far and makes more flexible proposals.”
As of now, Georgia, a WTO member since 2000, remains the only country, which is against Russia's membership in the organization. Until recently, Tbilisi has been demanding control over customs stations at Russia's borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russian side claimed the demand did not have anything to do with the RF’s joining the WTO and was of exclusively political origin. The Georgian-Russian negotiations resumed in March of the current year and are organised in Geneva through the mediation of Switzerland. The previous round took place on October 7-8 and brought no results.