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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 14
Washington tells Moscow the price for WTO membership

Mteli Kvira reads that the US has adopted the position that Russia should lift its embargo on Georgian products if it wants to become a member of the World Trade Organisation. There had been talk about opening a customs checkpoint at the Russian-Georgian border before the August War. The position of Georgia on this matter is decisive, and there then comes the question of whether the USA's position coincides with Georgia's or not.

At the last meeting between the USA and Russian Presidents it was pointed out that the USA will consent to Russia joining the World Trade Organisation if it meets the requirements it has set. These have been outlined by Deputy Secretary of State Philip Gordon, who stated in an interview with Rustavi-2 that if Russia wishes to gain World Trade Organisation membership it should lift the embargo.

Analyst Gia Nodia states that only lifting the embargo cannot be enough for Georgia. The essential thing is the will of both states to improve their mutual relations, not their political feelings concerning the World Trade Organisation. If the Russian Government states that it wants no relations with Saakashvili’s Government it is hard for relations to be normalised. Gia Khukhashvili says that the price Russia will have to pay is a serious one. If Russia does not accept these terms Georgia be in a profitable situation as it will gain international support anyway. Vasil Chkoidze states that if steps are taken to de-occupy the occupied territories relations will be normalised, but lifting the embargo is not sufficient as this is a secondary issue.

Opposition object to airspace control

Rezonansi reports that the Government plans to remove airspace control services from the list of facilities which cannot be privatised. Opposition MP Guram Chakhvadze says that this should not be allowed, because this privatisation will threaten the country’s security. He demands explanations from the Government.

“If what they [the Government) want to do now had been done in August 2008, there would have been a big chance that none of the Presidents who visited Georgia would have been able to fly to Tbilisi," opposition representatives say.

Ruling party MP and co author of the amendment Lasha Todria states that a final decision on this has not yet been taken and discussion is ongoing.