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Russia should abide by its obligations to Georgia in WTO talks

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Russia must fulfill the obligations it made to Georgia as part of talks on its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Tbilisi will, in turn, make no further demands, the Georgian prime minister said Monday.
TBILISI, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia must fulfill the obligations it made to Georgia as part of talks on its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Tbilisi will, in turn, make no further demands, the Georgian prime minister said Monday.

Zurab Nogaideli said Russia, which is currently negotiating a protocol on WTO accession with the United States, should conduct its trade relations with Georgia through its official checkpoints.

"In 2004, we agreed with Russia that we [Georgia] will support Russia's accession to the WTO, and that Russia, in turn, will conduct trade and economic relations with Georgia through its official checkpoints," Nogaideli said.

Georgia has long been pressuring Russia to conduct trade with the two Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia through its trade checkpoints, and not directly, as it does now.

Nogaideli added that Georgia has insisted on the implementation of this provision, and that it would never change its position.

"We insist on the observance of this agreement and do not intend to forward any further demands, although much has changed since 2004," the prime minister said.

Earlier Monday, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said a bilateral agreement with the U.S. on Russia's accession to the WTO could be signed by the two countries' leaders at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam November 18-19.

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