Negotiations between nation of Georgia and Russia scheduled for Feb. 4 will deal with resumption of exports of Georgian citrus fruits, wine, mineral water, Georgian agriculture minister says

TBILISI, Georgia , January 24, 2013 () – Negotiations between a Georgian delegation and the leadership of the Russian consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor scheduled for February 4 in Moscow will deal with the resumption of exports of not only Georgian wine and mineral water, but also other products to the Russian market, Georgian Agriculture Minister David Kirvalidze said on Imedi radio on Thursday.

"This will be the first meeting of such a level at which Georgia will be represented by both government agencies and the private sector," Kirvalidze said.

"The matter is not only about wine and mineral water, but also citrus fruits and other agricultural products," he added.

The delegation, which is to be led by the Georgian National Wine Agency head, will also include the leaders of the Winemakers' Association that includes more than 90% of wine companies, the Phyto-Sanitary Service, Food Safety Service, and Fruit and Vegetable Export and Import Agency, he said.

"As soon as the visas are issued, the delegation will immediately go to Moscow. I believe we will manage to settle everything by February 4," Kirvalidze said.

The negotiations in Moscow will be aimed at settling purely technical issues, as the matter has already been settled politically, he said.

"What counts most is that the two countries agree upon uniform rules of the game complying with WTO standards," Kirvalidze said. He reiterated that the Russian market, which earlier accounted for nearly 70%-80% of Georgian wine exports and also exports of citrus fruits, tea, and other agricultural products, is of paramount importance to Georgia.

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