By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — A Georgian official has said that negotiations with Russia over Moscow’s World Trade Organization (WTO) entry bid have ended without agreement.
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze, the head of Tbilisi’s delegation at the talks in Switzerland, said “Georgia cannot give its consent to Russia’s entry to the WTO untill Russia changes its position on trade within the occupied territories,” referring to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two Russian-backed separatist regions which have declared independence from Georgia.
At the talks, Georgia has been seeking international monitoring of border crossings in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Georgia still regards as parts of its sovereign territory.
Kapanadze said that a Swiss proposal involving monitoring of trade corridors by international observers had been agreed by Georgia, but rejected by Russia.
The Swiss-mediated talks between Tbilisi and Moscow were aimed at removing one of the last barriers to Russia’s entry to the WTO.