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Brussels, 3 November 2011

Statement by President Barroso on the conclusion of a bilateral agreement between Georgia and Russia on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO)

"The EU welcomes the announcement that an agreement has been reached between Georgia and Russia on Russia’s WTO accession. Russia is the EU's third largest trading partner and a very important market for EU exporters and investors. Russia's WTO accession would bring a real qualitative change to the current trade regime.

The EU in this regard, appreciates the flexibility shown by both Georgia and Russia to find a compromise on a highly complex issue and encourages both parties to overcome the very last technical hurdles in order to formalize the deal.

The EU would like to praise the hard work, persistence and creativity of Switzerland in their mediation effort between the parties. The EU stands ready to contribute to the implementation of the agreement if requested to do so by the parties.

Russia’s WTO accession will be an important step towards an even closer economic partnership between Russia and the EU. This will be to everyone’s advantage. We will also continue our important work towards political association and economic integration with Georgia, including to form a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

The EU now looks forward to seeing Russia’s WTO accession finalised with a view to reaching a consensus decision at the WTO Ministerial Council meeting on 15 - 17 December in Geneva."

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