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Khvanchkara quietly coming back to Russia?

02.06.2010  |  09:23

6106.jpegHead of Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service Gennadiy Onishchenko has invited the Georgian wine-makers for cooperation. All they have to do is to show that they no longer produce the deciliters of wine "that Stalin used to drink". Some of the experts believe that Onishchenko's declaration will not entail any further actions, while others attribute the "thaw" to the establishment of the Customs Union that will not allow limiting the circulation of the Georgian wine in the common economic area of Kazakhstan, Russia and Byelorussia. Meanwhile, according to reliable sources, the Georgian wine is already sold in Moscow!


Russia is ready to cooperate with the Georgian business in the field of wine and mineral water supply from Georgia. This was recently stated to the journalists by Head of Russian Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service Gennadiy Onishchenko. According to him, there is nothing impossible here: the wine of Moldavia came back to Russia when the businessmen agreed to allow the Russian experts to the plants.

According to Onishchenko, the Georgian businessmen should make their name: "We want to regain our positions; we will put things right and resume national control". Besides, according to him, they must show "that they no longer produce the upmarket wine, which Iosiph Vissarionovitch Stalin and his associates used to drink,10 times more than they really can".

However, the Russian chief doctor has more than once made such statements, as was stated by the Georgian interlocutor of GeorgiaTimes, economist Gia Khukhashvili.

- I have heard something of the kind several times at intervals. Besides, Onishchenko means that the negotiations should be conducted not between the relevant state structures but directly between the Georgian businessmen. That is a queer statement because if we are talking about the standards and adulteration, then, the market protection mechanisms should be found by the relevant structures of both the countries, not by the businessmen. How can they guarantee anything: should they do it on their honor or swear by their mother? To make it all substantial and aimed at the real problem settlement, it would be better if the relevant structures conducted negotiations and ensured market protection on both sides, provided that the problem really exits and is not made out of thin air. I believe that this statement of Onishchenko's is purely formal and is not aimed at the real problem settlement.

- There were some facts of adulteration in 2006 that became the reason for banning, were there not?

- There was the problem of adulteration, indeed. However, the major share of adulterated wine was produced either in the territory of Russia, or in the territory that was out of Georgia's control, for instance, in South Ossetia. The problem was double-edged and needed a solution. Today, there is practically no adulterated wine in Georgia. As to Borjomi, I believe, it was an artificial problem so long as Borjomi was adulterated only in the territory of Russia, including Moscow region, and I think it incorrect to shift the blame and look for the guilty ones.

- Have not you got an impression that Onishchenko has made his statement after Zurab Nogaideli and other oppositional leaders visited Moscow?

- I would not exaggerate Nogaideli's importance in the Russian or Georgian activities. I hope there are clever politicians in Russia who understand that Nogaideli is able to contribute to the relationship with Russia neither in the political, nor in the economic aspect.

- And what about other organizations? They are truly growing in number in Russia...

-One may hold consultations and try to find common language on the level of some business structures and trade chambers. As to the oppositional politicians, I think no serious issues are settled at this level.

Other Georgian experts believe that Russia will simply be forced to cancel the ban on the Georgian goods in connection with the standards of the Customs Union with Byelorussia and Kazakhstan that are to come into effect since July 1. Through these countries, the Georgian products will get to the Russian market so long as they meet the requirements of the Byelorussians and the Kazakhs.

GeorgiaTimes asked Yevgeniy Feodorov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Economical Policy, Business and Tourism and Deputy Chairman of the Technical Regulation Commission, whether it is so. As he asserts, the issue of opening the economic frontiers with Kazakhstan and Byelorussia has got nothing to do with the wine supply from Georgia. There are standards in Russia that the wine has to meet. The common requirements of the three countries will be coordinated and unified within a year and a half.

The deputy assured that the wine from the sunny Sakartvelo is already sold in Russia.

- Not so long ago, I bought a box of the Khvanchkara and Kindzmarauli wine supplied directly from Gori.

- Why is Gennadiy Onishchenko calling upon the Georgian businessmen to subject their products to examination so that they could be allowed to Russia?


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