2.5 million liters of Georgian wine imported to Russia – official

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 23, 2013) Around 2.5 million liters of wine have been delivered by Georgia’s enterprises to the Russian market since Russia lifted its ban on Georgian wine imports, Gennady Onishchenko, head of the consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor and Russia’s chief epidemiologist, told Interfax on Friday.

“A total of 690 shipments of alcohol products weighing more than 2.4 million liters have been delivered to Russian territory,” he said.

Twelve Georgian companies are handling these shipments, Onishchenko said. A total of 462 brands of wine, 41 brands of cognac and four brands of mineral water were registered by the Russian authorities.

“Over this period of time, we have rejected 16 brands of Georgian wine. Twenty samples are currently being examined,” he said.

“We have started to work, which is good. However, the Georgian side’s helpless efforts to justify the functioning of a U.S. Navy biological laboratory on its territory indicate its unwillingness to discuss these issues openly. In the future, this circumstance may create a serious obstacle for further broadening economic ties, acting as a factor of mistrust toward delivered products,” Onishchenko said.

Russia banned imports of Georgian wine and mineral water in 2006, citing its poor quality. In early February 2013 Russia and Georgia negotiated a pattern of clearing Georgian products into the Russian market.

Rospotrebnadzor specialists conducted the first inspection of Georgian enterprises making wine and mineral water in late February and early March, and the second inspection from April 1 to April 5, 2013.

Georgia has already renewed exports of Borjomi mineral water, wine and cognac to Russia.