Bloomberg News

Russia, Georgia Make No Progress on WTO, More Talks Next Week

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Talks between Georgia and Russia on the Russian bid to join the World Trade Organization made no progress at the latest meeting in Geneva, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze said.

Negotiations will continue early next week, Kapanadze said today by phone.

Switzerland in March started mediating negotiations between the two countries, which fought a five-day war in 2008 over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia. Georgia has cited disputes over customs checkpoints in South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, as reasons to withhold its approval for Russian WTO membership.

Russia, the largest economy outside the WTO, has been seeking to join the Geneva-based trade arbiter since June 1993, surpassing the 15 years China had to wait before becoming a member. While talks with the U.S. and the European Union on Russia’s entry are close to finalization, its southern neighbor Georgia, already a member, has blocked its accession.

--Editors: Andrew Langley, Alan Crosby

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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