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Road to WTO runs past Tbilisi2011-04-21 20:53
Washington openly tells Tbilisi that Georgia's negotiations with Russia on its membership in the World Trade Organization are no engine for solving Sakartvelo's political problems. According to Special Assistant to the U.S. President Michael McFaul, now there is a real opportunity to find a productive solution to the dispute concerning WTO without locating the Georgian customs officers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Tbilisi insists. Will his words be brought to life on April 28 in the course of another round of arduous negotiations between Russia and Georgia?
Russia and Georgia?
"USA do not act as a middleman; they are actively assisting contacts between Tbilisi and Moscow related to WTO issues, - InoSMI is citing McFaul. - Russia's entrance in this organization falls within the range of our national interests". Special Assistant to the U.S. President underlined that Washington is not going to push Georgia in the issue of admitting Russia in WTO; however, Tbilisi-Moscow negotiations are no engine for solving political problems.
McFaul also believes that presently, there are no insoluble disputes between Tbilisi and Moscow that would influence Russia's affiliation with the organization. He says that even the fundamental frontiers issue is quite resolvable. "That's a common situation that is not to be ignored, - he remarked. - Georgia wants to get information on the goods import and export to the "split-off regions" and from them, including in the direction of Georgia's main part but we think there is a productive decision that does not require the location of customs officers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the borders with Russia".
McFaul did not specify the White House's solution to the problem, having added that there is a way to raise the transparency and increase the input of information on the goods crossing the frontier. The point is that Tbilisi had stated before the negotiations that Sakartvelo would support Russia's entrance in WTO only in case Moscow agrees to Georgia's control over the customs checkpoints in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.