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“WTO Intrusion” operation2011-04-29 19:18
The second round of negotiations between Moscow and Tbilisi on Russia's entrance in the World Trade Organization (WTO) starts today in Bern. Georgian diplomats have already stated that the republic would not give up its demands and is ready to use the necessary leverages to achieve the set purposes. It its turn, Russian party believes that it can enter in WTO ignoring Sakartvelo's politicized position.
Impossible conditions laid down by Tbilisi remain the most discussible topic in advance of negotiations on RF's entering in the World Trade Organization between Russian and Georgian diplomats. Sakartvelo officers have many times stated that the republic will support Russia's entrance in the organization only in case Moscow agrees to control Georgian customs checkpoints in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The authorities' stubbornness, however, has been causing great bewilderment even among the western partners of Saakashvili's regime. For instance, last week, U.S. President's Special Assistant Michael McFaul made it clear that now there is a real opportunity to find a productive decision for the dispute associated with WTO without locating Georgian customs officers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "USA do not act as a mediator but encourage contacts between Tbilisi and Moscow on WTO issues, - he added. - We are not going to press on Georgia in the issue of admitting Russia in WTO; however, negotiations between Tbilisi and Moscow is not a mechanism for settling political problems".
One should expect the Georgian party to listen to foreign advice. It is not without reason that Deputy Head of the Georgian MFA Nino Kalandadze underlined then that the issue of membership in WTO is not political. "We are also interested in successful negotiations and would like Russia to become member of the organization", - she said. Moreover, the press revealed information that Tbilisi agrees to a compromise and gives its consent to involving international observers in the freights control in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Nevertheless, the latest statements of the Georgian diplomats have shown that things aren't moving. One of these days, Kalandadze underlined that Georgia is not going to withdraw its conditions in negotiations. "We have no purpose of blocking Russia's entrance in WTO and are ready to encourage the process, that is why we agreed to resume negotiations despite our political relationship. But the conditions we lay down remain in force and are based on the organization's regulations", - she underlined, having added that Tbilisi is ready to use these leverages, for they are the "foundation of the organization".
Head of the Georgian foreign policy administration Grigol Vashadze turned out to be more straightforward. He stated that Sakartvelo's delegation is going to Bern in order to "find together with the Russian officers a mutually acceptable way out of the legal nightmare that Moscow created by having recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence", Ogonek reports.