Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the issue related with Russia’s decision to ban the import of Georgian and Moldovan wines at a government session on April 17. Putin, who said “there are a lot of talks” going on about this decision by the Russian chief sanitary inspector, asked the Healthcare Minister to brief him about the current situation.
The transcript of the Russian government’s session was posted on the Kremlin web-site.
Russian Healthcare Minister Mikhail Zurabov told the President that the quality of wine being imported into Russia “is rather unsatisfactory.”
“Our main task is to ensure that our [Georgian and Moldovan] colleagues use only permitted fertilizers and technologies while growing the grapes… in order to eventually achieve the desired quality of this product [wine]… We are further seriously planning a restricting and ban on the selling of products which do not meet this quality. We know the figures: the consumption of low quality alcohol kills 35 thousand people annually [in Russia],” Zurabov said.
He added that “strict control” will be enforced on both the imported and local production of alcohol.
The Russian Healthcare Minister said that he plans to meet with his visiting Moldovan counterpart to discuss the issue.
A Georgian delegation, led by Agriculture Minister Mikheil Svimonishvili, visited Moscow on April 13-14 but failed to meet with the any top Russian officials.