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Top MPs want Georgian wine out of Russia to sober up ‘Russophobic radicals’

Top MPs want Georgian wine out of Russia to sober up ‘Russophobic radicals’
The Russian parliament is set to ask the government to ban imports of wine and table water from Georgia and to restrict money transfers to the country, after an obscene rant by a TV presenter was directed at President Putin.

Georgiy Gabuniya, the host of a chat and public opinion show on Georgia’s opposition-leaning Rustavi 2 TV, began his Sunday program with an address to Vladimir Putin in the Russian language, in which he used the most obscene Russian vulgarities to attack the Russian leader and his deceased parents.

The Kremlin responded to the “unacceptable” verbal attack by saying that it was “a great shame for Georgians” and blasted the country’s’ authorities for their reluctance to stem Russophobia. The Foreign Ministry of Russia labeled it as an attack of “unparalleled meanness” and “an open provocation by radicals” in Georgia.

Also on rt.com Georgian opposition TV host BAD-MOUTHS Putin on air, sending country into meltdown

The Russian parliament will formulate its official response on Tuesday, but Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has already told the media that MPs will be asking the government to introduce countermeasures, targeting wine and table water coming from Georgia as well as money transfers between the neighboring states, remittances that account for 2.9 percent of Georgian GDP.

The MPs agreed that the Georgian TV host should be extradited to Russia to face trial over his rant, Volodin said. Offending the President and state officials is punishable by fines and up to a year of correctional labor, in accordance with Russian law.

Gabuniya’s outburst was condemned by Georgia’s top officials and caused a massive rally outside the TV station, as people decried this perceived attempt to drive a wedge between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Also on rt.com Protesting crowds assail Georgian opposition TV after host's foul-mouthed attack on Putin (VIDEOS)

However, Volodin suggested that tensions in Russian-Georgian relations will only keep mounting, due to the efforts of Georgian “radicals and their Western sponsors,” which include “the US State Department and its puppet [former Georgian President] Mikheil Saakashvili, who made Russophobia their main activity a long time ago.”

Washington wants to use the situation to put the radicals in power because it’s not interested in an independent Georgian state, the house speaker explained.

The latest rift between Moscow and Tbilisi began in late June after Georgian opposition MPs protested against Russia’s participation in the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), which took place in Tbilisi.They shouted obscenities and sprayed water at the Russian delegation members, and also organized a large rally outside the parliament, which led to clashes after participants were instigated to storm the building.

After that, Moscow ruled that the rise of Russophobia made Georgia unsafe for its citizens and forbade all flights to and from the country, the measure going into force on Monday.

Also on rt.com Putin bans Russian flights carrying Russian citizens to Georgia from July 8

More than 21 percent of all tourist flow to Georgia would have come from Russia this year, according to GeoStat, with the cancellation of 80 percent of Russian bookings in its hotels dealing a serious blow to the country’s economy.

The ban on Georgian wine is also likely to become very painful as Russia remains its main consumer, taking in 65 percent of its export. Experts have warned that two thirds of Georgian vineries may have to shut down if the restrictions remain in place for a prolonged period.

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