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Tbilisi Accuses Moscow of 'Blackmail' Ahead of WTO Talks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Apr.'11 / 17:15

Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, said that his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov’s remarks that Russia may join WTO without Georgia’s consent were “blackmail and bluff.”

Lavrov first spoke about the possibility of joining WTO bypassing Georgia in March, shortly after Georgia-Russia WTO talks and reiterated the same remarks this week, ahead of the next round of talks.

“Russia’s threats, that it will achieve a result through bypassing Georgia and as if it will join WTO without Georgia’s consent, is a pure blackmail and bluff,” Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister, told journalists on April 28.

He said that the next round of the Swiss-mediated Georgia-Russia talks on Moscow's WTO entry terms will be held in Zurich on April 28-29. The previous round of talks was held in Bern in March.

Vashadze said that Tbilisi’s intention was not to block Russia’s WTO entry. He said, that although it was “painful” for the Georgian side to sit down at the table of negotiations with Russia, Tbilisi was willing to negotiate to find a way out from “the legal absurd, which Russia created with its stupid decision” in August, 2008, when Moscow recognized independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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