For the five months of 2023, Georgia came out on top among exporters of still wines to Russia, Kommersant writes , citing customs data.
According to the publication, from January to May of this year, Georgia delivered 24.15 million liters of still wines and outstripped Italy. In general, wine imports to Russia from Georgia grew by 63% year-on-year. Kommersant notes that this may further complicate the business of local winemakers who compete with Georgian products.
During this period, 23.36 million liters of still wines were exported from Italy, and imports grew by 31% year-on-year. As a result, the share of Georgia in the supply of still wines to Russia in volume reached 19.1%, and Italy - 18.5%. Imports from Spain also increased from January to May by 25%, to 20.46 million liters, from France - by 23%, to 10.04 million liters, from Portugal - by 69%, to 9.61 million liters.
Alexander Lipilin, executive director of the wine trading company Fort, said that imports from Georgia began to grow at the end of 2022. He attributes this to the absence of problems with payment and logistics. Also, the networks switched to direct contracts with manufacturers and offer the lowest prices on the shelf, Leonid Rafailov, general director of AST, suggested. In addition, according to the executive director of Luding Group Ernest Khachaturian, wines from Georgia and Armenia are distinguished by low volatility in value. Also, wines from Georgia are subject to zero import duty, said Alexander Stavtsev, head of the WineRetail information center.
On May 10, Russia lifted the ban on direct flights between Russia and Georgia, a corresponding decree was signed by President Vladimir Putin. There have been no direct flights to the country since 2019 — the Kremlin made this decision after the start of anti-Russian protests in Tbilisi. By another decree, Putin abolished the visa regime for citizens of Georgia, with the exception of those who enter Russia for the purpose of work.