Georgian and Russian negotiators will hold the next round of talks on Moscow’s WTO bid in Bern on April 28-29, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, said on Monday.
The first meeting between the sides on WTO issues since the August 2008 war was held on March 10 in Bern in the Swiss-mediated talks. Switzerland is acting as a diplomatic mediator between the two countries after Georgia and Russia cut diplomatic ties following the August war.
“The WTO membership issue is not a political one. It is in our interest to have successful talks and for Russia to join the WTO. As you know, however, we have number of requirements directly linked to WTO requirements that in no way have a political nature,” Kalandadze told journalists on April 18.
The Georgian officials have recently reiterated that Tbilisi’s position on Russia’s WTO entry terms remains unchanged and it insists that Russia provide “transparency” of border crossing points in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.