Russia has further clamped down on wine from Moldova and Georgia by banning imports of both brandies and sparkling wine, in a move that is definitely political, and possibly illegal, observers say.
Imports of wine and wine materials from these countries to Russia were banned at the end of March.
Gennady Onishchenko, head of the Federal Service on Consumer Rights Supervision in Russia, claimed that wine from Moldova and Georgia was of inferior quality and failed to meet health and safety regulations.
‘Nonconformity to stipulated requirements’ has also been cited as the reason for the ban on brandy and sparkling wine.
Russia’s main importers of wine from Moldova and Georgia plan on taking legal action against Onishchenko. They say that he has not presented any documents proving the inferior quality of the wine.
Some commentators suggest the ban on Moldovan and Georgian wine is a reaction to the countries’ opposition to Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation.
Molodova’s president Vladimir Voronin claims the ban is obviously political and is based on the country’s decision to adopt new custom rules that affect exports from a pro-Russian separatist province in Moldova.
Written by Claire Burbidge