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Talks with Georgia remain to be completed in the run-up to Russia’s accession to the Word Trade Organization
Talks with Georgia remain to be completed in the run-up to Russia’s accession to the Word Trade Organization (WTO), the press service of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. It said that the talks also had not been finished with Guatemala, but “everything has been decided with Guatemala, and it remains only to sign an agreement, while in the dialogue with Georgia it is needed to finally agree on demands that Georgia makes on Russia”. One of Georgia’s demands is Russia’s closing its border check posts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but it is not a matter in the sphere of regulation by the WTO, the ministry said. Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref earlier told Itar-Tass that “we have made our stances closer, and we have been able to reach a certain progress" at a regular round of the bilateral talks wit Georgia last week. Gref refused to specify a time of the completion of the talks, but he stressed that “we are moving towards each other”. A next meeting of the Russian and Georgian delegations is scheduled for the end of February. Russia plans “to present evidence for the Georgian side on the consistency of our customs regime with WTO demands and elucidate the legal nature of Georgian demands from a perspective of our bilateral accord”. Last week, Russia signed WTO admission agreements with Salvador and Costa Rica. Besides, Russia is to complete a round of bilateral talks and work out a multilateral agreement with all WTO member states that will regulate systemic questions in relation with the new member. Gref expressed hope that this stage will be finished in 2007.
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