MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) – A delegation from Russia’s consumer watchdog may start inspections of Georgian winemakers and mineral water producers on February 25, Russia's chief sanitary official said on Thursday.
“We will go [to Georgia] on Monday and inspect all the 44 companies,” Gennady Onishchenko said.
In early February Onishchenko said Russia may lift its ban on Georgian wine and mineral water imports in spring after inspecting technological processes during the production cycle and studying samples of products.
Russia banned imports of Georgian wines and two popular brands of mineral water in 2006 citing the poor quality of the products, a move widely condemned in Georgia as politically motivated.
Relations between Georgia and Russia saw a sharp increase in tensions during the rule of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, which culminated in a five-day conflict in 2008 over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.