The messenger logo

Reentering Russian market a bit naive, says Bendukidze

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 22
Former Minister of Economy Kakha Bendukidze has stated that speculation about the possible reopening of the Russian market for Georgian products is a bit naive. He warned the Georgian authorities that returning to the Russian market could create an even greater threat than being excluded from it because Georgia would once again become dependent on this market, which could subsequently ban Georgian products again as it did in 2006 and thus inflict a severe blow on the country.

Bendukidze said that by suggesting there is a prospect of opening its market again Russia is trying to present itself as the good guy. Georgian products will be able to enter the Russian market from 2011 onwards, as Russia Belarus and Kazakhstan will create a common customs space in that year and Georgian products will thus be able to enter the Russian market via Belarus and Kazakhstan, so Russia wants to show that it has suggested the return of Georgian products to its market before they return automatically.

Bendukidze also said that it is possible that if Georgian products start entering the Russian market certain forces could monopolise these imports and become very prominent in Georgian society as the person who helped Georgian products enter the Russian market. Their wealth could be used against Georgia, suggests Bendukidze.