The messenger logo

Russia’ to impose ban on Georgian wines and mineral waters

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 22
Russia’s legislative body, the State Duma, has recommended the government to ban import of wine and mineral water Borjomi from Georgia, Russian media reports.

It stressed that the Duma International Affairs Committee is preparing a statement which strongly condemns the decision of Georgia and five other countries to join the European Union (EU) 's decision on extending sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol.

"We are obliged to react to this,” said Russian MP Ian Zelinsky.

The lawmaker says these countries committed "stupidity", as in response, they would be affected by Russia’s counter-measures.

As it is known, Georgia has joined the EU decision to extend sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol until June 23 2017.

The decision was also joined by Montenegro, Albania, Liechtenstein, Norway and Ukraine.

It is not for the first time that the Russians have threatened to imposed a ban on Georgian products.

Previously, Russia imposed import bans on Moldovan and Georgian wines in late March 2006.

Then the Chief Sanitary Inspector of Russia, Gennadiy Onishchenko, claimed that heavy metals and pesticides had been found in Georgian and Moldovan wines, and that there were falsified alcoholic products labelled as wines.

The Russian Consumer Agency assured that it had examined 21 types of Georgian wine sold in Moscow and concluded that 85.7% did not comply with sanitary requirements. Pesticides were discovered in 60% samples of Moldovan and 44% samples of Georgian wine.

From May 2006, the Russian government also banned the import of Borjomi Mineral Waters.

Georgia was sure this was a political move, as Russia tried to trigger confrontations in Georgia. Prior to the Russia-Georgia war of 2008, in 2006 Moscow deported thousands of Georgians from Russia.

Economic ties between Georgia and Russia were partly restored after the Georgian Dream (GD) party came to power in 2012.

Since 2013, Georgian wine and mineral waters have gradually returned to the Russian market.

The recent statement from Duma confirms that Russian political and economic issues are inseparable, and the country is continuing to use economics as a lever to “punish” those opposing its interests.

This is why depending only on the Russian market will always be risky and dangerous for Georgia.