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  Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Georgia is not against Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization
Georgia is not against Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization but only provided membership does not mean the ruin of Georgia's economy, said the president. Georgia's authorities said they had withdrawn the signature from a protocol on Russia's WTO accession bid until Russia changed its "discriminatory" customs regime on Georgian exports. Moscow said it had received no notification of the signature withdrawal, and dismissed the move as politically motivated. Mikheil Saakhashvili sought to play down these allegations while speaking on television on Sunday night. "We really do want Russia to join the WTO as soon as possible," he said. "But we also are not about to turn a blind eye to the targeted attempt to damage our economy by using prohibitive methods." Russia imposed a ban on Georgian wines and mineral waters earlier in the year over health concerns. Saakhashvili said it was important for Georgia to have equal relations with Russia, including in the economic sphere, and said his government was ready to resolve all WTO-related issues. "We want to resolve all these issues on a partnership basis," he said. "But while Russia fails to honor all the commitments it undertook on the WTO under the agreement signed in Tbilisi, Georgia cannot change its position."
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