Abashidze commented on the 20 October statement of federal service of veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance. The Russian party states that in near the future, all restrictions on Georgian products for the Russian market will be lifted. In early October, Georgian fruit, citrus and vegetables were given the green light; our alcoholic beverage and mineral waters have been exported to Russia from July.
“It is the result of dialogue we started in late 2012. We don’t see any contradiction between the return of our products to Russian market and free trade regime with EU”, Zurab Abashidze said, who added that Georgia as a small country and limited economic space, is interested in free trade and gaining new markets in all geographic directions.
He says that Georgia has active trade relations with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and other leading trade partners.
“The government of Georgia fruitfully works on having a liberal trade regime with the EU, as it is our strategic task to have full integration with the EU. A very important step will be made in late November in this direction at the Vilnius summit by initialing a deep and all comprehensive free trade agreement with EU”, Zurab Abashidze said.
He said that work is underway on a similar agreement with the U.S., our strategic partner.
Abashidze said that in the 1990ies, Georgia signed many agreements with CIS countries in trade-economic fields that are in effect today. He considers that the Georgian party has to use these agreements.
Abashdize considers it a necessity that Georgian producers consider presumable risks of Russian market and take care to minimize them. It’s the government’s obligation to protect the legal interests of Georgian entrepreneurs by activating mechanisms of the world trade organization.
“Georgia’s European choice and process of gradual integration into the EU market doesn’t hinder developing free trade relations with neighbors and partners. As for the Russian-Belarus-Kazakhstan customs union and Eurasian union, the issue of Georgia joining these organizations has not be discussed or will be”, Abashidze said.