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Clinton’s “Drop it” order to Saakashvili2011-09-28 15:12
The United States of America tell Georgia to stop being obstinate in talks over Russia's WTO entry. Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze had to listen to direct instructions from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A new round of talks between Moscow and Tbilisi will take place in Switzerland in a week and a half and is likely to be more productive than previous meetings.
The suspended issue of Russia's WTO accession has been discussed in US official rooms for months because of Tbilisi's position that takes purely economic consultations to the sphere of politics. Mishiko and his team want Abkhaz and South Ossetian cargos to be controlled by Georgian border guards. But Moscow categorically refuses: how can security officials from the neighboring country be accessed to recently recognized and independent republics in Transcaucasia? By the way, even Georgia admits the idea has no future. "Everyone realizes absurdity of this scheme", - Giya Huhashvili, an expert, remarks.
However, Georgian authorities keep acting like lambs. Not long ago president Mikheil Saakashvili stated that Russia's membership in the organization is a purely technical issue. "It is connected with WTO norms on border transparency, - Mishiko said. - In this respect Russia must comply with baseline requirements". According to him, statements that Georgia is trying to solve the "occupation" issue hampering Russia's WTO entry are wrong.
Giorgi Baramidze, vice PM of Georgia echoes that. "This is not a political question, and we are not going to associate this issue with deoccupation of Georgia, - he remarked. - We, like EU countries, are interested to see Russia as a WTO member. Yet, Russia must meet the minimum requirements this organization sets forth and ensure transparency of trade between Georgia and Russia".
By all appearances, the White House is sick and tired of Saakashvili's obstinacy. The USA, Mishiko's number one friend, have repeatedly advised that Georgia stop being stubborn and agree to a compromise. Vice president Joe Biden, special assistant to the president Michael McFaul have reiterated Washington's concern over Russia's WTO membership. Yet, the Georgian president does not seem to care about their opinions at all.