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As tensions ease, Moscow allows the return of Georgian mineral water

Friday, May 24
After a seven-year embargo, Russia has allowed a shipment of Georgian Borjomi mineral water into the country, a move commentators in Moscow see as a sign that political tensions between the neighboring countries are easing, DPA reported.

Moscow banned imports of Borjomi water, Georgia's third-largest export, in 2006 in response to the policies of then Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who was a critic of the Kremlin. The official reason given for the ban was alleged poor hygiene standards.

Russia fought a war with its South Caucasus neighbour in 2008, ostensibly to protect the pro-Russian areas of Abkhasia and South Ossetia, where Russian troops have been based ever since.

Relations between the two countries have thawed since the victory of Bidzina Ivanishvili in last year's parliamentary elections.

Two trucks with water from the Georgian spa town were on their way to supermarkets around Moscow, the Russian customs agency said on Wednesday.

It is expected that Georgian wine, which enjoys a very strong reputation in Russia, but which was also banned in 2006, will be allowed to be imported again soon. (Trend)