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GENEVA, November 2 (Itar-Tass) — The next round of the Russian-Georgian talks on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization will take place in Geneva on Wednesday, Russia’s WTO chief negotiator Maxim Medvedkov told Itar-Tass upon arrival in Switzerland on Tuesday.
The consultations will be conducted with Switzerland’s mediation. This round of talks will take place “hot on the traces” of Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey’s visit to Russia and Georgia. On Sunday she visited Moscow to hold talks with President Dmitry Medvedev. On the next day Micheline Calmy-Rey met with her Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili informing him on Russia’s attitude to the Swiss compromise proposal for the WTO membership. “The document drafted by Switzerland, the mediator country, incorporates Georgia’s demands envisioning the monitoring of cargo traffic on the Russian-Georgian border by international observers and electronic data exchange,” the Georgian president’s press service said.
According to the Georgian side, the last round of talks on Russia’s WTO accession is scheduled for November 9-10. On November 10-11 Geneva will host a final formal session of the WTO’s working party on Russia’s accession. The negotiations that have already been underway for 18 years are expected to complete by the WTO ministerial conference scheduled for December 15-17. The position of Georgia, the only country impeding Russia’s membership in the organization, remains a substantial obstacle.