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Will Borjomi water flow to Russia?

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 29
Recently there have been many signs that Russia will eventually accept the return of Georgian wines and mineral waters into the Russian market. Russian officials in charge of food imports are ready to start negotiations with officials of Georgia. However, Tbilisi is not in a hurry to engage. Clearly Russia is doing so to receive the consent of Georgia for its WTO entry, which has been blocked by Georgia for many years, so Moscow wants to lift its food embargo on Georgian products entering Russia in order to obtain WTO entry. However Tbilisi's logic is very clear, if Moscow enters WTO, it will be obliged to lift its embargo on Georgian products anyway to comply with WTO demands. Meanwhile Russian Sanitary Chief Genady Onishchenko in his interview stated that in reality Russia does not need Georgia products as it can import similar products from around the world.

Meanwhile Russian consumers still remember fondly Georgian mineral waters and wines. During recent polling it appeared that 34 % of those asked want Borjomi mineral water to be sold in Russia. 44% of those asked said that they have tried Borjomi water and liked it. The average age of those who would like Borjomi to come back is about 55; the younger generation mainly has not tried the water.

So the question is still open and it is premature to say that it will return to the Russian market, however, much depends on the issue of Russia entering the WTO.