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    Washington calls on Georgia to allow Russian WTO entry - Biden

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    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says Washington tried to talk Georgia out of blocking Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a Russian official said on Thursday.

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says Washington tried to talk Georgia out of blocking Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a Russian official said on Thursday.

    Government deputy chief of staff Yury Ushakov said Biden was speaking during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    Georgia says it will not allow Russia to join the global free trade club unless it cedes control of customs in the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    "The Americans indeed spoke [to Tbilisi] saying it shouldn't hamper Russia's accession to WTO," Ushakov told reporters.

    He added however that Washington gave no guarantees.

    Russia is the only major economy still outside the WTO. The European Union gave its formal backing to the country's entry bid in December after Russia agreed to trim timber export duties and rail freight tariffs.

     

    MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti)

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