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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Russian consumer rights watchdog: Abkhazia "looks more beneficial" to Russia in terms of wine supplies

G. Onishchenko, photo: AFP
02.07.2013. Georgia is still behind Abkhazia in terms of wine supplies to Russia, Gennady Onishchenko, chief of the Russian consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, told Russian agency Interfax on Monday.

"The state of Abkhazia, with an established political orientation, looks more beneficial in terms of supply volumes and stable dynamics for cooperation increase. We are doing business here with clear state structures with responsibility and mandates," Onishchenko said.

According to Onishchenko, Abkhazia supplied 444 consignments of alcohol products of over 5.1 million liters, including 425 consignments of wine, 15 consignments of wine beverages, three consignments of chacha and a consignment of brandy, to Russia in 2013 so far.

Georgia exported 55 consignments of wine and three consignments of brandy of over 243,000 liters, including 232,000 liters of wine, to Russia in 2013 so far.

"As to whether they have gained momentum, it is hard to say but in principle, these are commercial volumes for Georgia," the official said.

Georgian enterprises submitted 382 products of 30 producers to Rospotrebnadzor for testing between March 14 and June 21, Onishchenko said.

"Rospotrebnadzor has issued 315 expert opinions on product compliance with sanitary standards to Georgian producers: 278 wines, 33 brandies, one chacha and three mineral waters. Seventeen expert opinions on non-compliance to 12 wines and five brandies [have been issued]. The testing of 49 samples from seven producers is still under way," Onishchenko said.

"Against this positive backdrop, statements by some Georgian special envoys, not easily identified in the legal space, sound strange, if not to say harmful. Some of their statements are at the very least inappropriate," Onishchenko said.

The Russian watchdog did not order any non-governmental organizations to hold talks on wine supplies from Georgia to Russia on its behalf, Onishchenko said.

Russia banned wine and mineral water supplies from Georgia in 2006. After the long-lasting pause the supplies from Georgia have resumed. The first consignments of Borjomi mineral water arrived in Russia in May, and wine - in June.

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