According to the Department of Roads of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, the transit road from Georgia to Russia Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Lars was damaged on June 27, 2022 due to heavy rains. As a result of the work carried out, traffic in the direction of Lars is free today. However, there were reports of car delays in Zhinvali on June 28. According to the agency, traffic in Zhinvali is currently free and there is a delay only on the Shatil section of the Zhinvali-Barisakho-Shatili road.
Road delays make transporting perishable goods particularly difficult. The Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Lars road is now used to export Georgian blueberries to the Russian Federation. EastFruit contacted local blueberry exporters to find out how the temporary closure of the transit road affected exports.
According to exporters, the one-day delay does not change the situation much, as traffic to the Lars checkpoint was already overloaded. For perishable goods on transit roads, a green card system operates prioritizing trucks carrying perishable goods over others.
Blueberry picking in Georgia is currently delayed due to rainy weather. Besides the fact that farmers cannot pick blueberries in time, berries have low quality after rains even if harvested in time. The price of blueberries at this time is low compared to the beginning of the season. The current average wholesale price is $3/kg compared to the first week‘s price of $8/kg.
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