The last round of talks on Russia joining WTO ended in a complete fiasco. Georgian negotiator does not see any solution to a stalemate while Russia is not willing to accept basic requirements of Georgia.
“Russia refuses to agree on even an elementary minimum of those requirements which it has to meet in respect of Georgia,” said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergi Kapanadze, Georgian negotiator. After ending the talks held in Switzerland, he does not see any reason for calling another session. Tbilisi would not agree to Russia entering WTO as long as the Federation did not change its approach towards trading with occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin believes that Western countries are using Georgia for blocking his country’s membership in WTO: “We have settled key issues. And what do we hear from our Partners? Go and come to the agreement with Georgia. I have a legitimate question. Do our main partners in Europe and the US want Russia to be a WTO member or do they not? There is no need to hide behind the Georgian issue,” said Russian former president.
Russian membership has been under consideration for 17 years. Moscow, according to WTO rules, should discuss its admission with each member of the Organization, including Georgia.