Russian sanitary policy gets diplomatic?
31 October, 2013
Russian sanitary policy gets diplomatic?
As Genadi Onishchenko, chief sanitary inspector of Russian Federation, who has been notorious for his blunt and often controversial phrasing and politically motivated decisions, stepped down a week ago and more balanced Anna Popova took her office, hopes flickered again that Russian sanitary inspection will get more diplomatic.
During his tenure, Onishchenko was widely known for a number of controversial decisions regarding food products from neighboring countries, in particular, those from the former Soviet satellites such as Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova
and Belarus, which coincidentally look westward. In March 2006, Russia banned imports of Moldavian and Georgian wines as well as mineral water and agricultural products coming from Georgia on the pretext of alleged health risks that these products posed. The move came at a time of deteriorating relations of Russia with Georgia and Moldova, when those two countries have repeatedly stated goals that they wanted to join the NATO. The next victim was Belarus in 2009, when it moved closer to the European Union. The Russian food agency reacted by banning export of Belarussian vegetables on health grounds. Starting from August this year, Onishchenko banned chocolate imports from the Ukraine’s largest confectioner Roshen and Moldavian wines for alleged health risks in the product. The decision coincided with the uneasy talks over energy supplies to Ukraine and with the Vilnius Summit scheduled by end of this coming November, where Ukraine is scheduled to sign an associated agreement with the EU, whereas Moldova and Georgia are going to initiate similar agreements. Lithuania, already the EU member and a host country of the EU Summit, could not escape the heavy hand of Onishchenko, who warned that the Lithuanian dairy products would be banned because they fell below the standards. Although Russia opened up its market to Georgian product this summer after large-scale on-spot inspections of Georgian companies, shortly after banning Moldavian wines, Onishchenko became wary that 28 Georgian wines, already approved by his inspectors, were risky for health.
The rap sheet of Onishchenko cannot be complete without recommendations to avoid sushi because of a risk of tapeworms and a suggestion to kill crows for allegedly spreading bird flu. According to Soso Archvadze, an economic analyst, Onishchenko was used as a scare figure by the Kremlin to swathe political decisions and his resignation doesn’t mean there is any breakthrough in Moscow’s policy.
“Since Popova is reported to be a very balanced person, takes Onishchenko’s place, very likely, Russian sanitary policy will become more euphemized and diplomatic without abrupt expressions and decisions,” he admitted. “But the market will remain risky.” To hedge the risk, Georgian producers try to keep their export to Russia in small volumes in spite of sky-high demands. Companies also ensure advanced payments by distributor companies.
According to Zurab Ramazashvili, Head of Telavi Wine Cellar, who is poised to send 30-35% of the company’s total export to Russia next year, the demand on Georgian wine is so big that the company might have easily sold its total export of 6.5 million bottles in Russia but he tries to keep the market diversified. “We export in 22 countries including Canada, the UK and the US and we do not want to lose positions there, therefore we limit our export to Russia to 30-35%,” he told Georgian Journal.
According to Shalva Khetsuriani, President of the Association of Georgian Sommeliers, Georgia should use Russian market while it is open but try to make Georgian wine popular throughout the world.
“We should work on our image as decent wine producing country and this image is not created in the post-Soviet area but in UK, Japan, China and so forth. Forget Russia as the single market,” he said.

Other Stories
EU to allocate € 13 billion for Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia
The European Union together with the World Bank plans to allocate investment worth € 13 billion for infrastructure projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Anaklia Port and its importance for Georgia
In 2016, Anaklia Development Consortium was authorized to launch the construction of Anaklia Port.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens electrical network in Abkhazia
In the breakaway region of Akbhazia rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network, reports an article of the news portal EuroNet.
Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani
In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning.
Photos describing life of the poorest in Georgia
Fight with poverty should be among top priorities of every government in every country.
Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia
Even drizzling rain and unpleasant gusts of wind can’t prevent the farmers from coming and participating in the agricultural training.
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off.
Hybrid car imports are going through the roof in Georgia
Thanks to their fuel economy, the popularity of hybrid cars is increasing in Georgia, where fuel affordability is low and prices for fuel are unstable.
The New Year offer from MAQRO Construction - Apartments with unbelievable discounts and the parking spaces for FREE!
Location, green yard, spaces for various needs, experience of the construction company and parking space are the main important criteria for potential buyers of apartments.
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare.
Biblusi opens first shop for tourists - Georgian
The largest book shop in Georgia Biblusi opens the first shop specially designated to the needs and interests of tourists and named it Georgian.
Georgia improves by five ranks in the Prosperity Index
In the overall Prosperity Index rankings, Georgia has climbed by 5 positions from 85 to 80 when compared to last year. As such, Georgia is the best performing country in the CIS zone.
The future is bright for electric cars in Georgia
The numerous hybrid cars in the streets of Tbilisi cannot be overlooked. Entrepreneur Sulkhan Gvalia calls them “pagers”, referring to the predecessor of mobile phones.
Georgia’s fight against the big tiny enemy – Asian Parosana
It’s a tiny creature, but the harm it did to the Georgian agriculture sector was and still is immense.
New cable route: from Kobi to Gudauri in 15 minutes
On the 15th of December, cable transport is scheduled to be opened connecting Kobi and Gudauri.
Tourist boom in Gudauri – majority of hotels are booked by foreigners
Gudauri is among the most popular winter resorts in Georgia.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the last 9 months, Georgia was visited by 19 500 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes.
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Head Speaker List featuring Circle, and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23

Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
January 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31