MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian health official is signaling that imports of Georgian wine could resume nearly seven years after a ban that aggravated relations between the countries.
The ban came amid tensions over two Russian-backed Georgian separatist regions. Although the ban was imposed on the grounds of sanitary concerns, Georgia saw it as politically motivated. Wine is one of Georgia's main exports. Before the ban, Russia accounted for 65 percent of the exports.
The countries broke off relations following the brief 2008 war in which Georgia lost control of the two separatist regions. But Russian and Georgian officials are to meet next week to discuss the ban.
Russia's chief sanitary official, Gennady Onishchenko, told reporters Tuesday that he didn't see obstacles to lifting the ban "if this matter isn't politicized."