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U.S. Official: Georgia has 'Legitimate Trade Concerns' in WTO Talks with Russia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Apr.'11 / 17:54

Georgia has “legitimate trade concerns”, which have to be addressed in talks over Russia’s WTO entry terms, Tina Kaidanow, the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, said on April 27.

“Our hope is that there can be an agreement on conditions for Russian [WTO] accession. The United States is supportive of the Russian accessions, but it also believes that Georgia has legitimate trade concerns that need to be addressed,” she said at a news conference in Tbilisi after U.S.-Georgia democracy working group meeting.

Next round of the Swiss-mediated talks between Georgia and Russia over WTO entry terms will be held in Bern on April 28-29, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

“We take those talks very seriously,” Sergi Kapanadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said at the same news conference.

Kapanadze, who was among the Georgian negotiators during the previous round of talks with Russia in Bern in March, said that remarks made by Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, that Russia could join WTO bypassing Georgia’s consent, were endangering negotiating process.

“Statements of this type do not contribute to the ongoing negotiations; they put in danger the talks,” the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister said. “The same type of statement was made by the Russian Foreign Minister shortly after the first round of talks… We deem such remarks to be provocative.”

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