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Sunday, 23 October 2016


WTO - a small obsession of Georgia

22.09.2011  |  14:40

WTO - a small obsession of Georgia. 22304.jpegOfficial Tbilisi continues to enact a farce and simply tries to cram its political demands into the agenda of talks with Russia on the WTO. After another unsuccessful round of discussions, finished a week ago, Georgian Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze took the floor. According to her, the Georgian side is allegedly trying to make Russia "adequate propositions" and hoped for "constructivity" of Moscow. GeorgiaTimes' correspondent spoke with well-known Russian political analyst Valery Homyakov on a strange position of Sakartvelo and prospects of dialogue.


At the time when Tbilisi diplomats in Switzerland impose absolutely absurd demands upon the Russian side, the talks on the Russian Federation accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) can not possibly get the ball rolling. Georgia continues to insist on the admission of its customs officers to the checkpoints at the border with Abkhazia and South Ossetia - two independent states.

At the same time garrulous Georgian Foreign Ministry is constantly trying to accuse Moscow of a long slippage of dialogue. As Foreign Minister of Sakartvelo Vashadze stated at the end of the last round of negotiations, the Georgian side "always makes a compromise" and Russia, "just like in the field of Borodino", is stubbornly defending its position.

Brad, no more. But! Even if we admit that Moscow realy dig in its toes and does not want to compromise, then where is your vaunted flexibility, Mr. Vashadze? Where is the mind, which, in theory, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic should have? Veronica Kobalia likes to talk about the fact that the requirements of Georgia are economic, not political. They say that Tbilisi insists only on the control of cargos from Russia and back.

Six months ago, Special Assistant to the President of the USA Michael McFaul made ​​it clear that there are no unresolved disputes between Tbilisi and Moscow that would affect Russia's accession to the WTO. He stressed that even fundamental questions are solved. "We believe that there is a productive solution that does not require deployment of customs officers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the border with Russia" - then said McFaul. According to experts, the diplomat was referring to international observers. This proposal, if it is accepted by Tbilisi, no doubt, would help the negotiations to break the deadlock. However, there is still no responses from the Georgians. It is unclear why Vashadze and Kobalia do not like international observers. When it comes to the European Union monitoring mission in Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili and his team fully rely on Western visitors. What's the matter now?

It seems, that the Georgian Foreign Ministry convinces itself of the correctness of their position. On the eve, the Vice of Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, said that Russia's accession into the World Trade Organization "depends on the rationality and constructivity of their actions". "The opportunity of Russia to join the WTO before the end of the year depends on how constructively it will behave in the talks held with Georgia and if it will be able to compromise, to which the Georgian side was coming for a long time, - quoted the diplomat's words. - Georgia is trying to make adequate proposals to the Russian side to make it so successful, but the ultimate success depends on how sensible will be the solution of Russia itself".

Tbilisi continues to preach and genuinely believes in their phony arguments and "adequate" proposals. To learn how to overcome this exclusive circle, GeorgiaTimes' correspondent spoke with the Director General of the Council for National Strategy Valery Homyakov. According to him, sooner or later they will still have to negotiate. "Of course, the negotiation standard of the Georgian side is high and not even adequate. But we must simply take into account the existing realities, - the expert believes. - I do not exclude the presence of international observers or joint control over the checkpoints. That is, in principle, they can discuss more or less acceptable options. And there, either some agreement will be reached or our allies will increase pressure on the Georgian side in order that Tbilisi do not prevent the entry of Russia to the WTO. Because the West is very interested in Russian accession the WTO. And I hope this will outweigh the bowl of the balance which is associated with the pragmatism of the Western political circles, who say: "Yes, never mind him, Saakashvili, how long can we stumble on all sorts of scandals with Russia because of him".

Our interlocutor expressed the hope that Georgia won't become such obstacle which will prevent Russia to join the WTO till the end of the term of office of President Dmitry Medvedev. "It would be very important for Georgia. Yes, I am an optimist, but perhaps there are optimists in the Georgian leadership, - said Homyakov. - Saakashvili has not listened to the advice of McFaul; for him, probably, statements of Obama or Clinton are more important. But he shouldn't taunt Washington. Moreover, the president of Georgia has long "surrendered" his country".

Ruslan Chigoev

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