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  Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Russia's chief doctor requested Monday a ban on wine imports from Georgia and Moldova
Russia's chief doctor requested Monday a ban on wine imports from Georgia and Moldova in a move that he said was motivated by health concerns but is unlikely to ease tensions in relations with the former Soviet republics. "I request that legal measures be taken to stop imports of wine and wine-making products from Moldova and Georgia and manufactured on the territory of these republics," Gennady Onishchenko said in a letter addressed to the head of the Federal Customs Service. With bootlegging a lucrative underground industry in the country, Health officials conducted a series of well-publicized raids on shops in Moscow last week in an effort to weed out poor-quality wines purporting to be much-prized labels from both Georgia and Moldova, whose relations with Russia have deteriorated over a number of issues in recent times. Citing numerous violations of health regulations, Onishchenko suspended health and hygiene permits for wine imports from Moldova and Georgia starting from March 27 until the violations are eliminated. Hygiene authorities in Moscow have already suspended wine import permits because 60% of the wine imported from the two countries allegedly fails to meet health safety regulations and is stored without documents indicating that pesticides were used during the wine-making process.
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