Georgia wants more transparency of Russian borders to approve WTO agreement (Bloomberg, USA)

Georgia wants more transparency of Russian borders to approve WTO agreement (Bloomberg, USA)According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Tornike Gordadze, until the Russian borders become more transparent, Georgia may not provide support to Russian attempts to join the World Trade Organization, which Russia has been seeking for 18 years.

“We ask for a very simple thing. Membership in the WTO requires transparency of borders, and that’s what we want to see, ”Gordadze stressed in an interview on Wednesday in Polish Krynica. “But Russia began to violate this principle from the very beginning.” Georgia wants to see "at least the presence of international observers at the borders."

This month, Russia and Georgia should sit down at the negotiating table in Switzerland to discuss Russia's accession to the WTO. Russia has been trying to join this trade organization since 1993, breaking China's records, which had to wait 15 for years. While the United States and the European Union favor Russia’s accession, Russia’s southern neighbor, Georgia, is hindering it, which aggravates relations between the two countries.

“We want Russia to join the WTO. This would force her to keep within the framework of the rules that she still continues to ignore, such as the unlawful embargo that is used against the import of Georgian goods, ”Gordadze said.

Russia suspended the import of Georgian goods in 2006 year and later in the same year extended and expanded the ban - the routes of communication with Georgia by air, railway and sea were cut off, the postal message was suspended, and money transfer services were blocked - all this after in Georgia, four Russian servicemen were arrested on charges of espionage. These four were released and expelled from the country 2 in October 2006, after which Russia applied the sanctions listed.

Deliveries of the Georgian Borjomi mineral water to Russia, which disappeared in Russia for these five years, could immediately resume if the Russian and Georgian authorities finally agreed, commenting on the phone from Tbilisi, Nice Cholokashvili, a spokesman for the company.

Largest market

The Russian economy is the largest economy and the only one among the G-20 countries that is not part of the World Trade Organization, whose 153 member accounts for 97% of world trade turnover. According to the World Bank, accession to the WTO could spur the growth of the Russian one-and-half-trillion economy by more than three percent in the medium term. For a new member to enter, all current WTO members must agree on the conditions for entry.

“We are not trying to give a political shade to this issue and we are definitely not trying to say that we will allow Russia to join the WTO only in exchange for the termination of the occupation of our territories - nothing of the kind,” emphasizes Gordadze. “It's just a completely different question.”

Russia completely defeated the Georgian forces in the five-day war in 2008 on the territory of South Ossetia, and later it recognized the independence of this separatist region from the Caucasian state. Russia also recognized the independence of Abkhazia - another separatist region. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev refuses to negotiate with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who is accused of initiating this conflict.

According to Gordadze, Georgia will continue its attempts at negotiations with Russia and expects that the situation will develop.

“At least, negotiations are continuing, and they cannot be called completely unproductive,” he said. - It is necessary to continue them.
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