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  Monday, August 10, 2020
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Argentina seems set to endorse Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization
Argentina seems set to endorse Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization after a senior Russian official said only a few procedural issues remained to be settled. Sergei Dankvert, the head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight, told journalists Friday after a trip to Argentina that negotiations between Buenos Aires and Moscow on accession had been completed. He said he hoped the technical matters would be resolved in the near future. Dankvert was less enthusiastic about the position taken up by Russia's neighbor in the South Caucasus, Georgia. According to the Russian official, Georgia said last year that it had no objections to Russia's joining the WTO, but this year had unexpectedly suggested it had additional questions. "This seems to be similar to a careless investigator who first closes a case, then re-opens it depending on the circumstances," Dankvert said. Relations between Russia and Georgia have become strained in recent years. Among a range of contentious issues, Russia has accused Georgia of harboring Chechen terrorists on its territory, while Georgia has said Russia maintains imperial ambitions. In addition to Argentina, Russia also has to wrap up bilateral negotiations on its WTO accession bid with the United States, Canada, Australia, Colombia, the Philippines and Switzerland.
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