25 Aug 2010 16:17

Russia limits vegetable, fruit imports from Moldova

CHISINAU. Aug 25 (Interfax) - Moscow has banned fruit and vegetable imports, supplied by more than 100 Moldovan companies.

Over 100 of the 136 companies, previously cleared to export fruit and vegetables to Russia, have lost this right, Moldovan Agriculture Minister Valeriu Cosarciuc told Interfax on Wednesday.

"Only 33 companies are allowed to export vegetables and fruit to the Russian market. The main cited reason for the ban is the presence of pesticides in the products," the minister said.

Prime Minister Vlad Filat described the ban on vegetable and fruit exports to Russia as an acute problem, which must be resolved immediately.

The Agriculture Ministry conferred with vegetable and fruit exporters behind closed doors on Tuesday to inform them about the Russian ban and to find a solution to the problem, which hits Moldova's economy very hard.

No official confirmation of this information is available to Interfax.

Moldova exported about 80% of its vegetables and fruits to Russia until recently.