Vice President Biden spoke by telephone with President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia this afternoon to congratulate him on the agreement signed in Geneva today establishing a trade monitoring arrangement between Georgia and Russia. Vice President Biden commended President Saakashvili for his leadership in the talks and called the agreement a historic step that has the potential to increase economic ties between the peoples of both countries and help reduce tensions in the region. This agreement, which relates to Russia’s World Trade Organization accession, will provide benefits to both parties. For the first time, Georgia will have full transparency regarding trade from Russia, including trade to and through the occupied territories. Both parties will also have access to an impartial dispute resolution mechanism should disagreements arise. The Vice President told President Saakashvili that the United States stands ready to support the full implementation of this agreement. Vice President Biden and President Saakashvili also discussed the close ties between the United States and Georgia and our bilateral cooperation to advance shared security goals.