07TBILISI992, GEORGIA: DRAFT TIFA DELIVERED TO GOG, RUSSIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI992 2007-04-27 13:28 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9503
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0992 1171328
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 271328Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6210
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 000992 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC AND EB/TPP/BTA 
COMMERCE FOR 4231 DANICA STARKS 
STATE PASS USTR FOR PAUL BURKHEAD 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2017 
TAGS: ETRD PREL USTR WTO GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: DRAFT TIFA DELIVERED TO GOG, RUSSIA 
UNRESPONSIVE ON WTO 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, reason 1.4(b) and (d) 
 
TIFA TEXT DELIVERED 
-------------------- 
 
1.  (C) On April 18, Econoff met with Tamara Kovsiridze, 
Deputy Minister of Economic Development, and delivered a copy 
of the draft TIFA approved by the Trade Policy Staff 
Committee and USTR.  Kovsiridze asked for a formal 
transmittal of the text by letter signed by the Ambassador, 
which we delivered to the Ministry on April 25.  Kovsiridze 
said that the text will be circulated to the Ministries for 
comment, seeking possible changes.  She expects the text, 
with modifications, if any, can be returned to USTR within 
two weeks.  She said that the Ministry of Economic 
Development will translate the text in to Georgian so it can 
be considered by the other ministries.  However, she said it 
will be acceptable to the GOG to sign it only in English. 
 
TALKS WITH RUSSIA ON WTO ACCESSION STALLED 
------------------------------------------ 
 
2.  (C) Kovsiridze said that no discussions with the Russian 
government about Russia's WTO accession have been had since 
February when the parties met in Geneva.  She recently sent a 
letter to the Russian negotiators inviting them to talks in 
Tbilisi, with a copy to the WTO secretariat, but has had no 
response.  The letter also seeks an expression in writing of 
the Russians' legal basis for maintaining checkpoints on the 
Russian border with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the GOG 
considers illegal because there is no agreement with the GOG 
for their existence.  Kovsiridze says she needs this 
information to complete the GOG's brief to the WTO 
secretariat in support of its position.  Resolution of the 
 
SIPDIS 
illegal checkpoints issue remains Georgia's sine qua non for 
permitting Russia's WTO accession process to proceed. 
Kovsiridze continues to point to the situation on the border 
of Transdnistria with Ukraine, with joint control by both 
countries and EU monitoring, as a model for resolution of the 
border checkpoints in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 
 
3.  (C) Kovsiridze said that the GOG has recently been 
informed by the Russian government that the one legal border 
crossing from Georgia into Russia at Upper Lars will remain 
closed until the end of 2008 "because of construction".  The 
border was closed on two day's notice by the Russians in July 
2006. 
 
4.  (C) Comment: Other than Georgia, Russia's bilateral 
negotiations are still active with Cambodia, Vietnam and 
Guatemala.  Despite optimistic sounds from Russia, 
discussions with Georgia are not progressing smoothly.  The 
border checkpoint issue is very important to Georgia, since 
it cuts to the heart of the issue of Georgian territorial 
integrity. 
TEFFT

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