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Minister against return to Russian market

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 7
Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia thinks that under the circumstances when 20% of Georgia is occupied by Russia it is wrong to speak about Georgian products returning to the Russian market.

Kobalia’s comments came after information was aired in the Georgian media that the leader of Free Georgia party Kakha Kukava met chief sanitary doctor of Russia Genady Onishenko and the idea of the returning of Georgian products and especially wine – was discussed. The first issue of occupation of Georgia should be decided and then we can start discussing Georgian wine on Russian market, Stated minister Kobalia.

Kobalia’s statement is very interesting because it presumably reflects on the Georgian government’s position. So Georgia wants to return to the Russian market without making concessions. Presumably Georgian officials are not very happy that the Russian step is a good will PR stunt in favor of the Georgian opposition party. Therefore Minister Kobalia expresses a firm ultra patriotic position that only when Russia de occupies will they be able to drink Georgian wine.

The most serious point is that the wine industry is the major agricultural segment of Georgia and facilitating its export contributes seriously to the welfare of Georgian farmers involved in the wine industry. It is significant as well that while Georgia does not export its products to Russia, Russian goods are entering the Georgian market. The visa regime makes it very easy for Russians to enter Georgia recently. Russian companies are very active in Georgia, officials explain that the economy should not be mixed with politics. But does this not contradict with Minister Kobala’s point of view as she thinks that Russians should not drink Georgian wine unless it de occupies Georgian territory? There is an interesting question arising from it. Who is losing from this situation? When Russia is not going to return territories at least in the near future and Georgia is suffering losses as it cannot sell its products in Russia.

Is this happening because of the activity of the opposition party which has irritated the ruling party? How about farmers and ordinary people?