( RIA Novosti ) - Russia will discuss its bid to join the World Trade Organization with Georgia on October 19 in Geneva, Russia's top negotiator said Friday.
Georgia has said it will cease to block Russia's bid to join the WTO only after Moscow honors its 2004 commitment to close down its border checkpoints with Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"We would like to understand what WTO rules lie behind this demand," Russia's Maksim Medvedkov said. "We have asked them to provide their reasons."
Georgia withdrew its signature from a bilateral WTO agreement with Russia shortly after a bilateral diplomatic row almost a year ago.
Apart from Georgia, Russia still has to complete negotiations with Saudi Arabia. Medvedkov said such negotiations would take place in late October, and that hopefully the country would be able to join the 151-nation global trade body in the near future.
"We are in the middle of the tunnel, and we have been seeing the light at the end of it for a long time, but the last few kilometers are the hardest to cover," Medvedkov said.