Washington supports Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (с) and the current negotiations between Russia and Georgia in Geneva on the issue, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden told Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday.
Russia has coordinated its long-awaited accession to the WTO with all member-states apart from Georgia, with whom relations have been difficult over Russia’s support for Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Biden and Saakashvili met in Rome.
The U.S. has repeatedly declared support for Russia’s WTO membership and this statement from Biden’s office is the first sign of U.S. attempts to pressure Georgia into agreeing to allow Russia into the organization.
The 150-member WTO is an international organization set up to liberalize global trade and regulate trade and political relations between its members. Russia, the only major economy not included in the organization, has been seeking membership in the WTO for 18 years.
WASHINGTON, June 1 (RIA Novosti)