From wine to water – Russia is cracking down on its neighbour Georgia’s products. It is three weeks since wine imports from ex-Soviet Georgia and Moldova were banned by Moscow, amid accusations they contain dangerous pesticides. Now batches of Georgian mineral water have been impounded. It is claimed they were being sold without proper labels and documents.
Archil Gegenava of the “Teliani Valley” wine producing company believes the genuine product is being wrongly penalized.
“Everyone knows there is fake Georgian wine and this fact is used by some politicians to completely halt exports of Georgian wine to the Russian market and in so doing hurt the Georgian economy,” he said.
While the drink continues to be enjoyed on home soil, the ban over the border looks set to cause pain. Russia is a massive market for Georgia’s wine industry. It represents some 80 per cent of its exports.
Those in the wine trade in Georgia say there is nothing wrong with their product. And while Russia denies its settling scores, many Georgians believe the ban is purely political – accusing Moscow of sour grapes at Tbilisi’s growing ties with the West.