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Sunday, 23 October 2016


Georgian wine for Russia

2008-12-29 13:17

Georgian wine might appear in Russia as results from the words of the head of Rospotrebnadzor (Russia's Trade and Sanitary Inspection Authority) and Russia's chief sanitation officer Gennady Onishenko.


1/8/5/1185.jpegIt will be remembered that Russia imposed a ban on Georgian wine and "Borjomi" mineral water in March 2006. At the same time Moldavian wine was subject to this sanction too. The official reason for such strict measures was objections to quality of the products. Though it was assured in Tbilisi that politics were at the heart of the matter Rospotrebnadzor stood its ground. According to Onishenko the ban on import of wines from Georgia and Moldavia is determined by huge pesticide content in the drinks.

"We believe we have done a lot of good to our citizens' health - the chief sanitation officer emphasized. - The non-pros entered the wine market and their main concern was production output and profit. They are responsible for this absurd situation".

Rospotrebnadzor had more than enough grounds for drastic measures. Russian shops were full of drinks that had nothing to do with the well-known brands like "Kindzmarauli" and "Tsinandali". In particular this was stated by the Head of the Russian Chamber of Commerce at that time Evgheny Primakov:

The Georgian mafia in collaboration with the Russian criminal groups sold a fake claimed to be Georgian wine. "They took raw materials from Georgia, added sugar and "Kindzmarauli" volumes presented in shops were more than Georgia could have yielded for 10-years' time".

In 2006 the ban brought USD 35-40 mln losses. Georgia repeatedly addressed Rospotrebnadzor asking to lift restrictions. But the authority was uncompromising. Even in summer 2007 following long and thorough quality controls Rospotrebnadzor raised a ban for certain Moldavian wine producers, for Georgian winemakers the situation remained unchanged.

Last week Georgian winegrowers got a hope of coming back to the Russian market. On December 21 following the return from Moscow of Georgian public figures' delegation that took part in the meeting with the Russian colleagues on overcoming of humanitarian consequences of the events in the Caucasus. One of the delegates, famous politologist Mamuka Areshidze, reported that chief sanitation officer Gennady Onishenko "was ready to give an audience to the Georgian winemakers individually".

And as early as on December 25 Georgia's Ministry of Agriculture sent Russia's chief sanitation officer an official address with a proposal to take off an embargo on Georgian wines.

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