Georgian delegation heads to Moscow to discuss resuming wine exports

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TBILISI. February 3. KAZIFORM A Georgian delegation has left for Moscow to discuss resuming the supplies of Georgian wines and other products to the Russian market, the press office of the Georgian Agriculture Ministry said on Sunday.

"The delegation comprises seven persons, including National Wine Agency chief Levan Davitashvili as the head of the delegation, his counselor, the heads of the Association of Wine Makers and representatives of the National Phytosanitary Service and Food Safety Service," the press office said.

The talks for the resumption of Georgian exports to Russia are scheduled for February 4.

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, Kazinform has learnt from RIA Novosti.

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.

Georgian billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition that won the country's parliamentary elections late last year, said he wanted to improve relations with Russia and would welcome Russian investors in Georgia.

Russia's sanitary chief Gennady Onishchenko has earlier said he was ready to discuss resuming the supplies of Georgian products to the Russian market.

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