07TBILISI1171, RUSSIAN WTO NEGOTIATOR TO COME TO TBILISI FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1171 2007-05-18 13:18 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9781
PP RUEHAG RUEHAP RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHGI RUEHHM RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHRN
DE RUEHSI #1171 1381318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181318Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6391
INFO RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS TBILISI 001171 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC, EB/TPP/MTA AND EB/TPP/BTA 
COMMERCE FOR 4231 DANICA STARKS 
STATE PASS USTR FOR PAUL BURKHEAD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD KTIA USTR GG
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN WTO NEGOTIATOR TO COME TO TBILISI FOR 
TALKS MAY 30-31 
 
REF: A. 06 TBILISI 3265 
     B. 06 TBILISI 3047 
 
1.  (U) This telegram is Sensitive but Unclassified.  Not for 
Internet distribution. 
 
2.  (SBU) DCM met on May 16 with Valeri Chechelashvili, 
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said that Russia has 
approached Georgia to hold further discussions about the 
Georgia-Russia bilateral agreement for Russia's accession to 
the WTO.  Although Russia suggested holding the talks in 
Moscow, the GOG invited the Russians, as the candidate 
country, to come to Tbilisi.  The Georgians consider this 
normal procedure in WTO accession negotiations.  As a result, 
Maxim Medvedkov, the lead Russian WTO negotiator, will come 
to Tbilisi on May 30-31 to meet with Georgian negotiators, 
including Deputy Minister of Economic Development Tamara 
Kovsiridze.  The last discussions between Georgia and Russia 
on WTO accession were in Geneva in January.  To our 
knowledge, the meeting would be the first relatively 
high-level visit by a Russian government official to Tbilisi 
since the October 2006 arrest and expulsion of Russian GRU 
spies. 
 
3.  (SBU) Georgia reopened its bilateral agreement with 
Russia last year, citing Russia's maintaining of border 
crossings into Abkhazia and South Ossetia that the GOG deems 
to be illegal, in that they are not authorized or staffed by 
the Georgian government.  Chechelashvili confirmed that 
Georgia's position has not changed and the border crossing 
issue is the only one preventing finalizing a bilateral 
agreement.  He repeated the GOG suggestion that EU-monitored 
border crossings in Transdnistria could serve as a model to 
resolve the Georgia-Russia impasse. 
 
4.  (SBU) Comment: Georgia shows every intention of sticking 
by its guns on the border crossing issue.  This is Georgia's 
only point of leverage in the strained bilateral relations 
with its giant northern neighbor, and the Georgians are 
determined to use it to establish some control over the 
unregulated, illegal trafficking of goods, HEU, counterfeit 
U.S. dollars, persons and weapons that is thought to take 
place through the conflict regions of Abkhazia and South 
Ossetia.  Any solution acceptable to Georgia will be a tough 
sell to the Abkhaz and South Ossetians, who are supported by 
Russia.  So far, Georgia is keeping the issue in WTO channels 
and avoiding politicizing the issue.  We understand that 
Russia still has more than one bilateral negotiation and 
complex multilateral discussions to complete before the 
Georgian objections are the only remaining hurdle to its 
accession. 
 
TEFFT 
TEFFT

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