Georgia accepts Swiss plan in WTO talks with Russia

Georgia said Thursday it has accepted a Swiss proposal that could open the way for Russia to join the World Trade Organization.

Russia needs to reach individual agreements with all 153 members of the WTO, and the lack of progress in negotiations with Georgia has been the last significant stumbling block. Georgia lost a brief war with Russia in 2008 over the control of two breakaway regions, leading to a breakdown in diplomatic relations with Moscow.

Georgia said it accepted a Swiss proposal providing guarantees of international supervision of all trade and cargo between Russia and the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“From now on, from the Georgian perspective, the Russian Federation can become a member of the WTO provided that it also agrees to the proposal,” the Georgian government said in a statement.

Russia said it needs several days to study the Swiss proposal.

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