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Tuesday, 25 October 2016


Tbilisi keeps WTOing

2010-12-10 19:36

11234.jpegTbilisi has run out of ideas what else to do to win Russia's attention and earn a dialogue. The fact of discussions, not the topic, matters. Attempts of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to have a meeting with Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev at the OSCE summit in Astana were a crushing failure. WTO issues won't be so easily dropped, Georgian officials decided and made a new statement highlighting they were ready to hear Russia's stand and are waiting for an answer from abroad with their ears all up.


The fact that Russia persistently refuses to hold a bilateral meeting is no problem to Tbilisi, it seems. In order to sit down at the negotiation table Georgian officials resort to primitive blackmailing. Recently Georgian PM's spokesman Niko Mchedlishvili stated that the Caucasian republic had a sort of veto right that can block the painful process of Moscow's WTO entry. But agreement can always be reached, Mchedlishvili hinted smiling slyly.

The European Union and the United Stated of America that have settled all vital entry issues with Russia, just shrug their shoulders. They don't know any exclusive rights Sakartvelo has. Apparently, this great secret is known solely to Mikheil Saakashvili and those whom he informed. These people seem to enjoy kindergarten games as the only way to draw attention to their intrigues. All other resources seem to be exhausted.

"Our conditions are based on economic, not political arguments, i.e. control of economic borders of WTO member states. Thus we set a condition that cargos must be controlled along the perimeter of the country's economic border including Psou and Roksky tunnel. We are ready to hear the opinion of the Russian Federation on the issue. If Russia wishes to enter the international organization it must obey international rules", - Zurab Chiaberashvili, candidate for the position of Georgia's permanent representative in WTO and ambassador to Switzerland stated. 

In connection with the world trade community, Georgia's aim is to make Russia comply with only one clause: Russia must sign a contract on customs control within internationally recognized borders between two countries. Tbilisi seeks total acknowledgement of the republic's territorial integrity while Moscow does not go back on recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's sovereignty. Differences over the border issue are not about sticking to these positions. After August 2008 the international community does not know itself where these recognized borders are. This situation is no good.

Georgia that has lost absolutely all reference points and Western countries that have not decided with whom it is better to interact are different issues. On one hand Russia is a good partner to Europe. The EU seems to have no objections. On the other hand Old World is so used to being aligned with Washington that coordinating important issues with the USA has become a reflex.

Most probably until Russia and the USA establish a unique vision on the foreign policy in South Caucasus Tbilisi will abuse WTO subject as well as other tricky issues. As a result the squeaking Georgian side will be left unheard. Economic experts are sure Europe and the States won't support Georgia's leadership and will admit Russia without any special consent.

Now Sakartvelo men issue a cry to eternity hoping the situation that becomes quite dangerous for the Caucasian republic will be settled. They are ready to listen. If Georgia announced that consensus means something else, the Kremlin's surprise would be endless. But the problem is that Georgia's haughty manners in forcing a welcome message will have the only adequate reply - silence.

Ilona Raskolnikova

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