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    Abkhazian wine may enter Russian market by end of 2007

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    MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia may resume imports of wine from Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia by the end of the year, Russia's chief sanitary doctor said on Tuesday.

    "We gave authorization for ten brands of wine and one cognac; Abkhazia has to buy excise tax stamps and deliver them to Moscow," Gennady Onishchenko said.

    He said the Russian side had fulfilled all its obligations, and that it now depends on Abkhazia whether or not imports are resumed. He added that there is no shortage of alcohol in Russia.

    Earlier this month Onishchenko said specialists from Russia's consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, had held summer consultations with their Abkhazian colleagues on the issue.

    Russia banned wine imports from the ex-Soviet republics of Georgia and Moldova in March 2006 on sanitary and health grounds. The ban also affected Abkhazian wines, marked with Georgian barcodes.

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