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Russia Begins Meetings In New Push To Join WTO

The WTO's headquarters in Geneva (file photo) (epa) July 23, 2007 -- Russia has begun five days of meetings aimed at advancing its longstanding effort to join the World Trade Organization.

The talks in Geneva are expected to address Russia's commitments on customs fees and regulations, industrial subsidies, and import restrictions.

However, officials say no "formal" meetings will take place because Georgia continues to oppose Russia's entry into the WTO.

Tbilisi wants Russia to stop trading with its two separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and has also protested Russia's ban on Georgian wine and mineral water.


Moscow And Tbilisi

Moscow And Tbilisi

Russian military hardware being withdrawn from a Russian base in Batumi, Georgia, in August 2005 (TASS)

WHAT COMES NEXT? Although Russia is unlikely to push an aggressive military response to the current tensions with Georgia, it has a number of economic, political, and diplomatic options at its disposal. Already on October 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin summoned his inner circle to weigh Moscow's options... (more)


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MORE: Coverage of the situation in Georgian from RFE/RL's Georgian Service and in Russian from RFE/RL's Russian Service.


RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Georgia and Russia.

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