Georgia Kicks Off 2018 with Caucasus Trade Conflict
Three days into 2018, Georgia already is finding it hard to keep one resolution – an agreement to let third countries use breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as trade corridors from Georgia to Russia under force majeure conditions.
The deal, signed on December 19 with SGS, a Swiss certification-inspection-verification firm, has been on the table since 2011, part of Georgia's nod to Russia joining the World Trade Organization. It would only apply in extreme weather – a heavy snowfall or a landslide, for instance – when Georgia’s sole official border point with Russia, at Upper Lars, is unusable.
That may sound routine, but, nonetheless, this is one controversial resolution.
First, of course, are Georgian fears that the agreement means that Tbilisi has caved in to the muscle-flexing Kremlin. The
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