Georgia Says Lavrov Comment Incorrect

Georgia believes that Russia's position on the possibility of its accession to the World Trade Organization without Georgia's consent is against international law, David Darchiashvili, head of the Georgian parliamentary committee on European integration, told reporters Monday.

"Russia's position contradicts international law and the WTO charter, in accordance with which countries should have civilized trade and economic relations, not the kind of relations Russia has with Georgia," Darchiashvili said, commenting on the statement made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said Russia can enter the WTO without Georgia's consent.

Georgia is a full-fledged member of the WTO and therefore has rights that it can use, if need be, the Georgian parliamentarian said.

Russia's statements contradict each other, which is a violation of diplomatic norms, Darchiashvili said.

"Russia can't enter the WTO without Georgia's consent. Russia has temporarily occupied our territories and has temporarily violated international law. It is persistently trying to make these violations permanent, but it won't work," he said.

According to earlier reports, Lavrov said on Channel 3 television on Sunday that Russia can enter the WTO without Georgia's consent.

Meanwhile, Georgia may resume wine imports to Russia, Federal Consumer Protection Service head Gennady Onishchenko said Monday.

"If Georgian business associations initiate the resumption of the deliveries, we are ready to consider the initiative," he said.

"There is only one criterion &mdash quality. If the quality is appropriate, access will be granted. If not, there are legal ways to block inferior products from the market no matter what threats are made and in what economic unions, including the WTO," Onishchenko said.

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