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What happens when your occupant is your top exporter?

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 13
In the context of the continued creeping occupation in Georgia, Russia threatens that it might ban export from those countries which have joined sanctions against it for its aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Georgia has indeed joined one of the sanctions initiated by the EU against Russia; however, Georgia’s Prime Minister stresses that he had been against such a step and that the participation in such anti-Russian initiatives in the future is less likely from the Georgian side.

We still don’t know whether Georgia is in the list of those countries rejected in Russia's economic field or not.

An advisor of Georgia’s Minister of Agriculture has already left for Russia and our fate with regards to the Russian market will be cleared out over the next 2-3 days.

According to the Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia, “it is an ordinary working meeting that took place in the past and will be held in the future as well.”

It has also been mentioned that instead of the ban Georgia, might increase export to the market.

Despite the fact Russia is occupying 20% of the Georgian territories, under the current government the country has become one of the leading exporters of the Georgian products.

In 2013, more than 24 million bottles of wine and spirits were exported to Russia. In 2014 the number has increased to more than 43 million bottles. In January- July of 2015 more than 10 million bottles have been sent to Russia.

Wine and spirits are not the only products that go to Russia, as there are approximately another 10 different types of products that are also exported.

In January-July 2015, more than 24 million bottles of fresh and mineral water have been exported to the market and more than 3 million bottles of fizzy drinks.

In the same period of 2015, up to 300 tons of nuts have been exported to Russia; laurel leaf-1,236 tons; tea-209 tons; nectarine-1,382 tons; apple-565 tons; peach-385 tons; tomato- 129 tons; cucumber- 96 tons; sugar- 1,236 tons; frozen fish- 17 tons ; tangerine-124 tons.

Thus, Russia is in top five exporters of Georgian products.

Of course the Russian market is profitable for Georgians owing to several reasons: Russians know and love Georgian products, it is a vast market, it is quite close to Georgia as a neighbouring country and the market does not reveal as high demands as the EU equivalent.

However, the market has a very noteworthy fault - less reliable, with links to politics.

Russia has used its market and a ban on foreign products as a punishing lever to other countries, Georgia amongst them in 2006.

Since then Georgia has tried to diversify its export destinations and find alternatives.

Analysts say, and it is hard not to agree, that such growing dependence on the Russian market is quite dangerous for the country as Russia might impose a ban any time it wishes.

Thus, our only outcome is to look after our economic field, increase the quality of our products more and still search for other markets and diversify our intentions in this regard.