Georgia to approve Russia's WTO bid

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Moscow, May 20: Georgian ambassador to Moscow Erosi Kitsmarishvili said here today Tbilisi is ready to support Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) if both countries resolve issues inhibiting bilateral relations.

"Our position is linked to specific issues. If these problems are resolved, we are ready to support Russia's entry into the WTO," Kitsmarishvili told RIA Novosti news agency. Russia has been seeking membership of the global trade body since 1993. So far, Moscow has concluded bilateral talks with over 60 states, but still needs to complete discussions with two WTO members - Saudi Arabia and former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Georgian Reintegration Minister Temuri Yakobashvili said last week that the country will continue to block Russia's entry to the global trade body until it withdraws its support for the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia.

Tension between Moscow and Tbilisi have sharply increased since the Russia called for closer ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another breakaway Georgian republic, in April.


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