Russia to lift ban on imports of wine, water from Georgia
Russia is set to resume the imports of wine, mineral water and fruits from Georgia, following a seven year ban due to political tensions before a brief war broke between the two nations in 2008.
The import of Georgian mineral water and wine is expected to resume in spring 2013 after the clearance of inspections, paperwork and permits from the Russian representatives, who will visit Georgia to check the quality control system.
Russia's consumer protection service chief Gennady Onishchenko was quoted by Reuters as saying that the Russian representatives will also visit wine and water producing companies, which have applied for permission to export to Russia.
"I think that mineral water - I would first of all name Borjomi and Nabeghlavi - and wines from both eastern and western Georgia will be coming onto our market," Onishchenko added.
According to the government statistics, wine exports from Georgia decreased from $81.4m in 2005 to $29.2m in 2007, while mineral water exports also witnessed a decline.
Georgia National Wine Agency head Levan Davitashvili, who estimated Georgia to export 10 million bottles of wine to Russia per year, told the website that Russia remains a key wine market for the country.