Russia to sign WTO accession deal with Georgia this week
Russia and Georgia will sign an agreement on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) this week, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said on Monday.
"The text of the agreement has been initialed and will be signed by November 10. The area of activity for monitoring companies will be specified by this time," she said.
Russia's chief WTO negotiator Maxim Medvedkov said last week Moscow and Tbilisi had reached a compromise deal with the help of Swiss mediators on monitoring goods crossing the borders of the former Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"The main issue was to define trade corridors and the format of monitoring cargo turnover on the border of Russia and Georgia. For the Georgian side it is important that uncontrolled cargo turnover in recent years should be placed in a legal framework not only formally but also in practice by international observers," Kalandadze said.
Russia has been working to join the WTO since 1993. The last remaining obstacle for its entry has been Georgia, which has refused to okay Russia's entry ever since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008 when Georgia attacked South Ossetia to bring it back under Tbilisi's central control. After the war, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another ex-Georgian republic, Abkhazia.