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Moldovan leader in Moscow for talks on wine embargo, Transdnestr

Moldovan leader in Moscow for talks on wine embargo, Transdnestr

Moldova's president arrived in Moscow Friday on a working visit set to focus on ongoing disputes with Russia over the separatist Transdnestr region and an embargo on Moldovan wine.

On the eve of his visit, Vladimir Voronin told RIA Novosti that although Russia agreed in November last year to lift its ban on imports of Moldovan wine, Moscow failed to keep its side of the bargain.

"We have done everything [under the agreement], but since last November, the Russian side has been completely silent," Voronin said.

Russia imposed the embargo in March 2006 citing consumer safety, but many experts believe it was a politically-motivated decision.

The Moldovan president said his country had met all the demands put forward by Russian food safety regulators, introducing a rigorous quality-control and certification system for wines and liquors sold both domestically and abroad.

The ban has dealt a severe blow to the small impoverished ex-Soviet nation's economy, bringing many wine-making enterprises to the brink of bankruptcy.

During Voronin's visit, the Russian and Moldovan leaders are also likely to resume discussions on Transdnestr, a breakaway republic in Moldova with an ethnic Russian majority.

Disputes involving the region, which proclaimed its independence from Moldova after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but has not obtained recognition since the bloody conflicts that ensued, has been a major source of contention in relations between Russia and Moldova, in particular Moscow's alleged support for Transdnestr's separatists.

Source : RIA Novosti


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