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Medvedev thanked Georgia2011-10-21 12:54
The new joke Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about the fact that his country doesn't need the WTO accession is only a fraction of a joke. The rest - is absolutely true. After all, oil and gas tycoons, as well as multinational corporations, are lobbying for the accession to the trade organization.
This step would not be good for the population. That's why the adamant Georgian position against the Russian membership saves its leadership from inappropriate action. And now Tbilisi can render Moscow a good service.
On the eve of the next round of Russian-Georgian talks on WTO accession, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with the Public Committee of his supporters. He charmed them even more, saying "we feel good even without the WTO".
This response was followed by a request of the Governor of agricultural Krasnodar Region Alexander Tkachev not to undermine the potential of Russian agriculture by entering into the World Trade Organization.
"You just sent greetings to our friends, the president said. - We'll tell them that we do not need any WTO, we feel well even without the WTO, and we have nothing to do in the WTO. I agree with you: there is nothing to do in the WTO. I'm kidding". But the joke was that Medvedev agreed with Tkachev.
Further the president said more seriously: "Everyone should understand that it is not only in the interests of Russia. This is in the interests of various businesses, foreign businesses and, in general, in the interest of competent regulation of international trade flows. This is a two-way road ... Of course, we are ready for this, but if they say that we are not suitable for whatever reason, we will survive. This is absolutely true in all sincerity".
A few days ago, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has publicly acknowledged similarly and frankly, that excessive openness can hurt the Russian economy. "Someone loves to wear short skirts, and someone should better use other clothes", he said metaphorically, noting, however, his very positive attitude towards accession to the WTO.
Presidential "Hello to our friends" had been addressed primarily to the United States. They dream of an open Russian markets, fallen trade barriers, available geological exploration data. Not by chance a few years ago, 13 largest U.S. companies, including Shell, Ford and Boeing, openly lobbied for Russia's accession. Moscow, joining the WTO, is guaranteed losing its positions and bows before the old geopolitical enemy.
But in parallel the U.S. pledged to protect Georgia, their Caucasian bridgehead. And for Georgia, to let Russia join the WTO without additional concessions is similar to losing outright. Tbilisi has already kept mum about his dreams to return Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but requests to post international observers at least at the borders of those countries. Abkhazians and Ossetians consider outwardly a harmless desire to control the flow of cash of Georgians in the breakaway republics of goods as an attempt on their sovereignty. And Russia does not want to discuss this proposal as it is beyond the scope of the negotiation process for accession to the WTO.