Tbilisi, DFWatch – Rospotrebnadzor, a Russian state customer rights’ service, unexpectedly blocked comeback of Borjomi, the best-known Georgian mineral water brand, to the Russian market for undefined period.
Even though Borjomi was among about forty companies which Russia Federal Service on Customers’ Rights approved for export, on Monday Russian media quoted Rospotrebnadzor head, Gennady Onischenko, as saying that there were questions regarding Borjomi’s safety and additional samples for further examination needed.
The first group of the Russian experts visited Georgia in February and approved exporting of four mineral and 36 wine brands. On April 1 the second group of Russian experts landed in Tbilisi to examine the rest of wine and mineral water companies throughout Georgia.
IDS Borjomi, a prize-winner Georgian brand, exports its mineral water in more than 35 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. However, the largest market for its product used to be Russian federation before the Kremlin imposed an informal embargo on all Georgian products back in 2006, due to their ‘poor quality.’ The latter verdict was issued by Rospotrebnadzor not only on Borjomi, but exclusively on all products originated from Georgia.
This harsh measure was preceded by the arrest of alleged Russian spies by Georgian counterintelligence, a move that infuriated the Kremlin and, according to the media of that time, President Vladimir Putin personally.
After October 1 parliamentary election, new government of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire who gained his fortune in Russia, relations between Georgia and Russia have begun slightly improving. Visit of Russian experts was a first tangible result of that improvement.