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.

Print
Other Stories
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
Winemakers to produce Kvanchkara in its place of origin - Racha
Khvanchakara is a semi-sweet Georgian red wine which originates from Racha, in the western part of Georgia. Kvanchkara is made of two types of grape Mujuretuli and Aleksandrouli.
The level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported has increased
The National Wine Agency of Georgia has recently published statistical information about the level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported between January and July, 2018.
New fire engines to be Manufactured in Georgia
The Acting Head of the Emergency Management Agency Shalva Khutsishvili said that the old Zili fire engines (which were made in the USSR) will be phased out and replaced with new ones, manufactured in Georgia.
Georgia witnesses a record number of tourists
The Georgian National Tourism Administration publishes statistical information about international visits to Georgia.
Canadian businessman plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro
Canadian businessman Vadim Malishev plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro resort, Guria, in the western part of Georgia.
Coffee Factory will open in Tbilisi in October
The first coffee factory (which will be located on the Kakheti highway) in Tbilisi will open in October.
Places in Georgia where real estate is the most expensive
The real estate market in Georgia is growing annually. In Tbilisi as well as other regions of Georgia new developments are increasingly taking place.
How much does a vacation cost in Tbilisi?
It is the middle of summer and those who have not yet taken a vacation are looking for an appropriate place for sure!
The price for extreme sports in Georgia
Georgia offers a variety of options to extreme sport lovers.
The number of Georgians who own property abroad increases
The number of foreign properties owned by Georgians is increasing.
How much does Taxi cost in Tbilisi?
Stories how Taxi drivers try to deceive passengers and charge them with more money than they should pay are known for everybody all over the world.
What are the highest paid areas in Georgia
According to the data collected by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in the first quarter of 2018 the highest paid jobs in Georgia are found in the financial and insurance fields.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.09.2018
19.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6156
2.6188
EUR
1
EUR
3.0498
3.0593
GBP
1
GBP
3.4259
3.4414
RUB
100
RUB
3.8379
3.8673
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
USD
1
USD
2.6188
EUR
1
EUR
3.0593
GBP
1
GBP
3.4414
RUB
100
RUB
3.8673
September 2018
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