Russia and Georgia on Wednesday signed a Swiss-brokered agreement that clears the way to Moscow’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The deal provides in particular for the deployment of international observers to monitor the movement of goods across sections of the borders of the former Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia - the only major economy outside the WTO - has been trying to join the organization since 1993. The last remaining obstacle for its entry has been Georgia, which has refused to okay Russia's entry ever since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008.
The agreement of all member states is necessary for accession to the WTO.