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Georgian Wine Clears a Hurdle for Entering Russia

Dozens of Georgian wine producers received the green light to apply for permission to carry out Russian sales after an effective years-long ban on the beverages, Federal Consumer Protection Service chief Gennady Onishchenko said Wednesday.

The embargo on Georgian wine and mineral water began in 2006, coinciding with a deterioration in bilateral relations. Russia and Georgia clashed in a brief war in August 2008.

Onishchenko said 36 Georgian wine producers and four mineral water producers could move to register their products with the authorities by submitting samples. He made the statement after the Federal Consumer Protection Service conducted a survey of the producers in Georgia recently, RIA-Novosti reported.

A total of 93 Georgian wineries indicated that they would like to supply the Russian market, Onishchenko said. One of them didn't pass the survey, he said.

Another survey is in the pipeline and could take place after March 25, Onishchenko said. Following that trip, the agency will decide whether to allow sales of chacha, a Georgian hard-liquor made from grapes and parts thereof, similar to Italian grappa.

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