ISSN 2330-717X

Georgia Accepts Swiss WTO Proposal, Russia Needs Time To Respond

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(Civil.Ge) — Georgian negotiator said on Thursday that Tbilisi has accepted the most recent compromise proposal tabled by the Swiss mediators in talks over Russia’s WTO entry terms.

Russia’s top WTO negotiator, Maxim Medvedkov, said Moscow would require several days to elaborate its position on the Swiss proposal.

“We will be able to make a response next week,” Itar-Tass news agency reported quoting Medvedkov.

Sergi Kapanadze, the deputy foreign minister and Georgian negotiator, said that the Georgian side came to Geneva for the Swiss-mediated talks with Russia earlier this week with “new proposal.”

“This proposal still envisaged international monitoring of trade and electronic data exchange system. The difference [in Georgia’s new proposal] was only in forms of international monitoring,” Kapanadze told Civil.ge via phone from Geneva on Thursday evening. He declined to elaborate details of exactly what was changed in the Georgian side’s proposal.

He said that the Swiss mediators tabled “a compromise proposal” on October 26 on which Georgia had agreed.

Kapanadze says that this compromise proposal still envisages two basic components, which Georgia believes are important for transparent trade across the disputed borders – international monitoring and electronic data exchange.

He said that according to the proposal international observers will be deployed on the both ends of “trade corridors” – areas that will be defined by their geographic coordinates not by names in an attempt to keep a status-neutral approach. He declined at this stage to provide details about location of “trade corridors”.

Kapanadze expressed hope that Russia would accept the proposal too that would pave the way for its WTO membership.

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Civil.Ge

Civil Georgia is a daily news online service devoted to delivering quality news and analysis about Georgia. Civil.Ge is run by The UN Association of Georgia, a Georgian non-governmental organization, in frames of ‘National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia’ Program financed by USAID. Civil Georgia is also supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

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