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EU urges various countries not to use Russian market

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 26
The EU has urged various states to refrain from measures which are aimed at exploiting new trading opportunities arising after banning European products on the Russian market. The Georgian government claims that they have not received any official demand from the EU to suspend trade relations with Russia. Georgian officials also stress that the Georgian share on the Russian market is insignificant.

Official European Commission Representative Peter Stano has made a following statement for ITAR-TASS.

"I repeat the position of the Council of the EU, which called on third-party countries, partner countries and candidate countries, to abstain from exploiting new trade opportunities resulting from the introduction of Russian restrictive measures for the purpose of maintaining international solidarity and the implementation of international laws," he said. Among such countries, for example, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, Macedonia and others.

On August 7, the Russian government declared an absolute prohibition on deliveries of meat products, vegetables, fruit, seafood, milk and dairy products from the European Union countries, Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA. The measure was taken in response to the sanctions against Russia.

Commenting on the statement, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said that the recommendation does not refer to Georgia.

‘’Georgia has not received such a message from the EU. This refers to big exporters and not Georgia. We would be interested in selling more products and achieving market diversification,” Gharibashvili said.

Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri stresses that “even very optimistic trade potential of the country, will not substitute European products on the Russian market.”

Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia has repeated that Georgia has not received any official data concerning the Russian market. He states that the country should continue to broaden its trade-economic relations with Russia. Georgia might export fish, honey and sheep to Russia together with wine and agricultural products in the near future.

Mikheil Machavariani, from the United National Movement criticizes the current government for not joining the EU sanctions against Russia. He stresses that the Georgian Dream coalition does its best not to irritate Russia, when the latter has its own agenda and anti-Georgian intentions.

Economic Analyst Irakli Lekvinadze states that the EU statement targeted Turkey and North African countries mainly, which are able to substitute European products on the Russian market.

“Our share on the Russian market is miserable. We will not be able to perform any crucial role in this regard,” Lekvinadze said.