[This post was updated on April 27, 2011 to clarify Georgia's position on Russia's WTO accession.]
A hazardous, bubbling substance was discovered in Moscow markets the other day. Russian food police arrested bottles of the Georgian mineral water Borjomi, which stubbornly appeared on stalls in the Russian capital despite a nationwide ban on beverage imports from Georgia.
Russian food security officials maintain that Georgian wine and mineral water -- the cause and cure of hangovers -- are not safe for Russians to consume. The smuggled bottles were confiscated before more Russians could imbibe the enemy-produced water.
In response to the security breach, Gennadiy Onishchenko, director of the Rospotrebnadzor food security agency, said that his ever-alert office is suing a Belarusian company that allegedly sold the bottled menace. The same official earlier hinted that his office may drop the charges against Georgian water and wine if Tbilisi agrees to support Russia’s US-backed bid to enter the World Trade Organization.
But Tbilisi wants to fry bigger fish at these talks -- namely, according to Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, a revocation of Russia's "unthoughtful, hasty, emotional and stupid" recognition of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as countries independent from Georgia. Vashadze insists that Georgia will not link the revocation to Russia's WTO bid, but skepticism persists about whether or not that will, in fact, prove to be the case.
For now, though, with no breakthrough in sight, Georgian wine and water will most likely remain guilty as charged in Russia.