Russia, Georgia to hold WTO negotiations in Geneva on October 19

Other News Materials 12 October 2007 22:12 (UTC +04:00)

( Itar-Tass ) -- Russia and Georgia will hold WTO negotiations in Geneva on October 19, Director of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry's Trade Negotiations Department Maxim Medvedkov said on Friday.

Russia has resumed bilateral negotiations with Georgia, which demands the 'legalization' of checkpoints on the Russian-Abkhaz and Russian-Ossetian borders. "We would like to understand which WTO norms compel Russia to do that," he said. " Georgia has not produced any convincing arguments, but we are ready for further dialog."

"We will meet in Geneva on October 19, and the dialog will be more to the point this time," he said.

Medvedkov said earlier that Russia is ready for WTO-style trade with Georgia. Moscow and Tbilisi held their first WTO negotiations in 2004 and signed a bilateral protocol, "which binds Russia to abide by the WTO regime in trade with Georgia."

Moscow will also spell out its position on the growth of export duties in the accession to the WTO before the Russia-EU summit, he said.

Consultations to that effect are underway with Russian agencies, he said.

"I hope we will be able to give an answer next week. If we do that before the end of October within the framework of the Russia-EU summit [due on October 25 in Portugal], the negotiations may be completed successfully," he said.

Russia has the right to enlarge export duties, Medvedkov said. "Our agreements will enter into force on the day we join the WTO," he added.