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Saakashvili: Tentative Agreement on Russia’s WTO Entry Terms
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Feb.'08 / 21:09

There is a tentative agreement with Russia to set up joint border-crossing points, some in the conflict zones, which in turn would result in Georgia backing Russian WTO membership, President Saakashvili said on February 14.

“We have an initial confirmation from Moscow that Russia is ready to open joint border-crossing points and customs checkpoints on the Georgian-Russian border, even in the conflict regions, which in turn removes the obstacle to Georgia supporting Russia’s membership of the World Trade Organization.”

He did not give more details.

Tbilisi has been insisting on several preconditions for supporting Russia’s WTO accession, including the legalization of trade at two border crossing points - one in breakaway South Ossetia (Roki Tunnel) and another in breakaway Abkhazia (Gantiadi). Moscow, however, had claimed the demands were politically-motivated and should be beyond the scope of WTO talks.

Saakashvili also said another “positive signal” coming from Russia was a tentative agreement to resume direct flights between the two countries.
“A Georgian delegation dealing with economic issues will go to Russia to negotiate the resumption of Georgian exports,” Saakashvili added.

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