Georgia Set to Resume Borjomi Sales in Russia as 7-Year Ban Ends

Borjomi, the Georgian mineral water popular across the former Soviet Union, is set to return to Russia following a seven-year ban as tensions ease between the countries that fought a war in 2008.

The company met the required public-health criteria set by Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor consumer-protection watchdog and awaits final registration approval, IDS Borjomi International said by e-mail today. Shipments will be carried out by its local unit, IDS Borjomi Russia, said the company, based in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

Russia has prohibited Borjomi imports since 2006, when a ban was imposed on Georgian wine and agricultural products. It will join other Georgian products returning to Russia after the first round of sanitation checks held in the Black Sea country.

A resumption of imports would mark a victory for Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a Russian-trained economist and engineer who promised to improve political and economic ties with the country’s northern neighbor following his upset election victory in October over the party of President Mikhail Saakashvili. The two nations fought a war in August 2008 over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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