Russia to Stalemate WTO Talks
27 October, 2011

Russia led its bid on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to stalemate by resisting Georgia’s far claim on admission international monitor control on its internationally recognized economic borders.

After more than 18 years of negotiations, Russia appears to be on the verge of joining the WTO. But it must first reach an agreement with Georgia, routed by Russia in a 5-day war in August 2008, on customs and border issues. Since the WTO membership is based on a consensus, Georgia has

an effective lever to keep Moscow tapping at the WTO door without success if it does not make concession and agrees to admit international monitors in the trade corridor within Georgian conflict zones bordering with Russia. Russia still has troops in the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Moscow recognized as independent nations after the August war.

Tbilisi claims it lost control over its internationally recognized economic borders in the breakaway territories, which poses security and contraband risks and  requires from Moscow to admit international monitors  in exchange of Tbilisi’s vote for Russia’s WTO bid. Russia is the largest global economy outside the WTO and the West is vitally interested to have it in the trade club to enter the huge Russian market that lures the West especially today against the backdrop of fears against another bout of financial crisis, Soso Tsiskarishvili, a political-economic scientist, believes.

Tbilisi, who  had been requesting restoration of Georgian customs check-points at the pre- 2008 August war position, has already made a step backward during WTO talks this year under the international pressure and agreed on admission of international monitors but Moscow still defies this compromise.

On October 25, 2011 just before Georgian-Russian round of negotiations esteemed as pivotal since the countdown for Russia’s WTO bid this year is on, President Dmitry Medvedev’s economic adviser said Moscow will never meet Georgia’s demands and warned of serious economic ramifications if Russia is unable to join the WTO.

Georgia alleges that the two regions that split off in the war are occupied territory used as staging points for Russian terrorist incursions. Nevertheless international pressure became forcing before 25 October talks. European diplomats are fearful that the political momentum to close a deal could evaporate with Vladimir Putin’s expected return to the presidency next year who has long been ambivalent about the WTO, and has instead been pushing for a regional customs union involving Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

“There is now very little time left to reach a bilateral agreement between Georgia and Russia. I call on both parties to continue their efforts to find a solution in a spirit of compromise,” Mr De Gucht, the EU trade commissioner, said offering the EU’s help to resolve the impasse.

The WTO’s director-general said on October 21that members should not “sustain blockage for the pleasure of blockage” and should make good faith efforts to resolve disagreements. Georgia is believed to be an addresser of the hint.

Tsiskarishvili believes the situation is a true stalemate with no move backward rather than an impasse enabling to step back and it was Moscow not Tbilisi that led to it by its inflexible approach.

“Georgia enjoys no pleasure in blockage Russia’s WTO bid, it just has no move backward after it agreed on international monitors on its internationally recognized economic borders, it is a legal claim resisted by official Tbilisi till 2008 when Russia occupied our territories and it could get stronger now requiring de-occupation rather than milder like to let Russia within the WTO without any claim. Letting Russia bypassing Georgian demand means additional capitulation to Georgia and a complete loss of national pride. The gain we can enjoy in return is zero unless quite questionable getting back Georgian wine and mineral water to Russian market scarcely able to offset the loss,” Tsiskarishvili told GJ adding that “if Russia enters the WTO bypassing consensus rule it is not supposed to observe any rules further and will be a permanent headache to the WTO.”

He suggests all the WTO members to put themselves on the place of Georgia and imagine whether or not they would like have economic partnership within their WTO partner who violates their internationally recognized economic borders.

Two senators and Republicans in White House unlike European diplomats hailed the Obama administration not to sacrifice Georgia’s security and sovereignty concerns in Washington’s effort to help Moscow join the global trade club this year.

“The administration should resolve this stalemate in a manner that respects the territorial integrity of Georgia. Then — and only then — will movement on the WTO question be worth considering”, House Speaker John Boehner said on October 25, 2011

In a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Senators Roy Blunt and James Inhofe came down strongly on the side of Georgia.

“It should not come as any surprise that Georgian leaders are insisting on maintaining at least some semblance of territorial integrity through the customs process,” they said. “Without such recognition, agreeing to Russia WTO accession could be tantamount to international ratification of a new border arrangement imposed by Russia through force of arms.”

If Russia were to join the WTO, the US would be required under world trade rules to establish “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) by removing a Cold War-era trade restriction with Russia known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

Blunt and Inhofe, two usually reliable votes for trade, said in their letter they could only support PNTR if Russia agrees to border and custom procedures that respect “Georgia’s security considerations and future sovereignty,” Reuters reported on October 19, 2011.

Other Stories
Everything of comfortable life in one space – Second part of construction of one of the largest apartment complexes finished in Tbilisi
Apartment in ecologically clean environment, thousands of square meters of green yard, swimming pools, places for various sports activities, treks for walking and running, commercial spaces – all these available in one space is not a fantasy.
Batumi awarded Europe's Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2019
World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2019 took place on the 8th of June in Madeira, Portugal.
Coca Cola to open new factory in Georgia, will hire female drivers
Coca Cola is opening new factory in Georgia in December.
World's best party supply company now on the Georgian market
The largest party supply store in Georgia - MyDay is launching as the official distributor of AMSCAN from 2019.
Live as a marketing tool and an unprecedented live stream launched by Livetag
Sharing information has become smoother and more versatile in today’s technological world. Recently, live streaming, an online streaming media has become especially popular.
Theme and program of Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019 changed
“The 8th International Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019, scheduled for June 21, will focus on the development of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the field of economy and energy”,
Misunderstanding over Poti deep sea ports
There was misunderstanding around deep sea ports in Georgia – in Poti.
High demand for dollars or the investment decline – Why Georgian Lari depreciates
$1 equals GEL 2,7470 in the official rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals.
New life to be given to Dashbashi Canyon
Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas is planning to give new life to Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka (southeastern Georgia).
Who is constructing “Khadori 3” Hydropower Plant in Pankisi Gorge?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
Georgian designers presented at Fashion World Tokyo 2019
The products of 11 Georgian designers are showcased at Fashion World Tokyo 2019,
Silknet raises $200 million in Eurobond issue
27 March 2019 - JSC Silknet (“Silknet”), one of Georgia’s leading telecommunications operators, has successfully priced a debut $200 million 5-year 11% senior unsecured bonds issue (the “Notes”).
Pistachio trees will be planted in Georgia
Dozens of hectares of Pistachio are planned to be planted in Georgia this year.
Toyota Safety Sense and Hybrid Technology
Toyota Caucasus, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla at Rustavi International Motorpark, several days ago.
Bidzina Ivanishvili “became number one oppressor of businesses in Georgia” - ICC Georgia chairman Fady Asly
Mr. Ivanishvili promised the business community to protect them from harassment and pressure, unfortunately his words died with the sunset of that day
The best brands of Belarus will be exhibited on a large-scale exposition in Tbilisi
"The Belarusians like to come to Georgia to relax near the sea in Batumi as well as to stay in sunny Kakhetia."
Don’t treat business like a hooker! - Georgian businessman Vasil Soprpmadze addresses politicians
Businessman Vasil Sopromadze, founder of the company "Fresco", addresses politicians
RAV4 No Compromise and Corolla Set to Impress – Two New Cars Presented by Toyota
Toyota Caucasus, the company constantly aspiring to greatness, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla.
Mamuka Khazaradze quits TBC bank, does not sell the TBC Bank share
I made a decision to leave TBC bank where I spent 27 years of my life
10 Reasons to buy an apartment in the suburbs
There is a tendency for Tbilisi dwellers to move from central parts of the capital to the suburbs.
Georgian citizens are granted the right to work in France
The French Embassy in Georgia made remarks on granting Georgian citizens the right to work in France
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
July 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31