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WTO Negotiations Frustrated

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 11
Geneva talks of October 7-8 between Georgia and Russia over the issue of Russian entry into WTO yielded no results according to the deputy FM Sergi Kapanadze who was heading the Georgian delegation there. Russia refused to give information to the Georgian side about the trade operations conducted by it in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Georgian side demands, if not control then at least information about Russian trading activities in Georgia’s breakaway regions. The Russian delegation ignored Georgia’s claims over the territories and therefore did not agree to give any kind of information to the Georgian side.

Switzerland is brokering the negotiations between the two sides. It is suggested that a certain system of monitoring of trade in those territories which was accepted by Tbilisi was rejected by Moscow. Kapanadze also said that according to him it is useless to continue further negotiations over the issue with Moscow however he also mentioned that if something interesting happens the negotiations could be prolonged. Still the sides agreed to hold the next round of talks on October 17. The Georgian side however says that its position would not change. It needs transparency of borders and trade activities and international observers on the border with Russia. All this is in Russian hands and it is its choice, mentioned Georgian Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria. He also thinks that it is unlikely that Russia would be admitted to the WTO without Georgia’s consent as so far there is no precedent of this happening. Russia has been trying to enter this body for the last 17 years but has been blocked by Georgia.