Tbilisi, Georgia, August 1
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
The Georgian president's advisor for economic affairs Giorgi Abashishvili has recently met with representatives of the country's small business. The issue of signing a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU was discussed at the meeting, Abashishvili told media on Friday.
"The agreement and the opportunities were discussed at the meeting," he said. "The promotion of Georgian products, as well as the decision taken by Russia was also discussed."
"Russia's suspension of free trade with Georgia will not greatly damage the Georgian economy," he said.
"It is very difficult to find economic motives in Russia's decision, as the Free Trade Agreement with the EU poses no threat to the Russian market," he said. "It is necessary to stress that this means the transition to a tariff regime, rather than a ban on trade. We, like other countries, will continue trading with Russia, but not in the free trade regime. As opposed to past years, today the export structure of Georgia is significantly diversified. Thus, the reduction of trade turnover with Russia will not greatly damage our economy."
"Introducing the tariffs can lead to a rise in price of Georgian products on the Russian market," Abashishvili added.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Economy and Development worked out the government's draft decree on suspending the free trade agreement between Russia and Georgia. The relevant document is available on a single legal information portal, RIA Novosti reported.
The suspension of the free trade agreement with Georgia was coordinated with Russian relevant ministries - the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Justice, according to the draft decree. The agreement was signed on February 3, 1994.