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Georgian wine back to Russia?2010-03-11 22:41
Hardly is there anyone who doubts abnormality of Russian-Georgian relations. The events of 2008 when two neighboring states turned into enemies for the first time in their history is simply beyond any reasonable explanation. Current developments in bilateral relations of two states are incomprehensible either - at least as far as return of Georgian produce to the Russian market is concerned.
Today the front-page news of a number of Georgian media was information that "Moscow surrenders to Georgian products". As stated, Georgian wine, mineral waters and agricultural goods declared "banned" by Russia's chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishenko four years ago will be back to Russian stores.
Indeed, Russian people traditionally appreciating Georgia's signature products are nostalgic about Khvanchkara, Kindzmarauli, Bordzhomi, and Batumi tangerines. Any Georgian living in Russia can see that. The trouble is that appreciators of Georgian wine don't quite understand when it is time to run for Georgian produce. At least there is no official statement on the part of Russia on the web.
Tbilisi is bursting with various opinions on the matter. Recently Georgian Finance Minister Kakha Baindurashvili called to return Georgian goods to the Russian market. "Naturally a new market for the sale of Georgia-made goods will be beneficial. As for Russia, a consistent approach is needed so that a seemingly positive step did not turn into a trap". - News Georgia quotes the minister.
What are the chances for the Georgian goods to come back to Russian market given the lack of diplomatic relations between the countries? As it turned out the minister made this comment referring to the visit of Zurab Nogaideli, Movement for Fair Georgia leader to Moscow. Various news agencies reported that possibilities for return of Georgian produce to Russian market and resumption of direct air communication were now discussed by Zurab Nogaideli, Georgia's ex PM, leader of opposition Movement for Fair Georgia. But official Tbilisi considers Nogaideli a traitor of motherland, doesn't it? Besides, can he - a humble oppositionist - take state-level decisions?
But Tbilisi is actively discussing return of Georgian goods to Russia that refrains from comments so far. Business Georgia portal quotes the opinion of Georgian business community on the issue. "Russia can enable embargo any time since it was introduced unilaterally and without reason", - Jemal Inaishvili, chairman of Georgia's Chamber of Commerce expressed his apprehensions.
Generally speaking, numerous comments don't make it clear whether Tbilisi wants Georgian goods back onto Russian market or not. What officials and expert community say - "no state would find it needless to have an additional market, but this positive event must not turn into Kremlin's new trap" - looks very much like a well-known saying: "honey is sweet but the bee stings. And someody says no". Apparently, this is why official Tbilisi invented a version that Moscow simply had no other choice but raising the embargo. At first this version was presented in the press. "Russia simply has no other way out, since political embargo didn't work. There was no social boom when Georgian wine, Bordzhomi and citruses disappeared from the Russian market", - goes the expert statement in Georgia's web media.