According to Russian Prime Minister’s deputy chief of staff, Yuri Ushakov, the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told PM Vladimir Putin at a meeting on March 10 in Moscow that Washington had advised Tbilisi not to hinder Moscow’s WTO bid.
“Americans had a conversation with [Tbilisi], that there is no need to impede Russia’s [WTO] accession,” RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting Ushakov.
He, however, said that “there was no direct promise” from the U.S. officials that they would resolve the issue with Georgians.A White House official said earlier this month that Georgia-Russia dispute over WTO entry terms “is a bilateral issue, not a trilateral issue.”
“The Russian PM has candidly stressed, that it was a political problem… and expressed satisfaction that with the Americans all these issues are solved,” Ushakov said.
Ushakov was also quoted as saying that during the meeting between Biden and Putin talks in Switzerland, ongoing on Thursday, were also “mentioned” and a hope was expressed that the problem would be resolved.
Georgia and Russian negotiators were due to launch talks in the Swiss capital Bern on March 10.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, told reporters on March 10, that the issue was also discussed during the U.S. Vice President’s meeting with Russia’s President, Dmitri Medvedev, on March 9.
“The Russian President has stressed inadmissibility of politicizing this issue, as well as the unacceptability of the Georgian leadership’s attempts to introduce those elements into the discussions, which are not related with the terms of WTO membership,” Lukashevich was quoted by the Russian news agencies.