RUSSIA: Water could be next in Georgian trade row - report

By | 27 April 2006

Russia has stepped up its trade dispute with Georgia with a threat to ban mineral water imports from its neighbour, according to local reports.

Gennady Onishchenko, Russia's chief health inspector, has proposed to ban imports of Borjomi, Nabeglavi and other Georgian mineral waters if they do not comply with Russian regulations, Prime-TASS news agency reported yesterday (26 April).

Onishchenko, director of Russia's Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare, said almost 35,000 bottles of Borjmi and Nabeglavi water had been seized. The mineral waters violate many regulations, Onishchenko was cited saying in the report.

In particular, Borjomi contains excessive amounts of fluorine and the chemical composition indicated on the labels of some Borjomi bottles differs from its actual composition, he said.

The threat to ban all mineral water imports from Georgia comes a month after the Kremlin banned wine shipments from the country. Imports of Georgian and Moldovan wine were banned in late-March on the grounds that they contained pesticides and were of poor quality. Georgia has petitioned the Russian government to assess the quality of its wine.

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