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Russia Raises Pressure on Georgia, Blames U.S. for Protests

  • Lavrov cites Western ‘geopolitical engineering’ for tensions
  • Putin suspended flights to Georgia after mass protests there
Protesters gather outside parliament in Tbilisi, Georgia, on June 23.
Protesters gather outside parliament in Tbilisi, Georgia, on June 23.Photographer: Zurab Tsertsvadze/AP Photo
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Russia targeted Georgia’s wine exports days after banning flights to the Caucasus nation where anti-Kremlin protests are continuing over Moscow’s influence in the former Soviet republic.

Russian consumer safety watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said Monday it was tightening control over alcoholic drinks produced in Georgia, citing an alleged “deterioration” in the quality of beverages. Russia is Georgia’s largest export market for wine.