Political motive possible behind Russia's decision to ban agricultural imports from country - Moldovan foreign minister
CHISINAU. Aug 11 (Interfax) - Russia's decision to ban agricultural imports from Moldova may be political, Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nicu Popescu said.
"We know that numerous previous restrictions were imposed on our export to the Russian Federation market for political motives. This used to be done regularly, including on wine, fruit and vegetables," Popescu said on the national television channel Moldova1 on Thursday.
"Moldova produces fruit and vegetables of a very high quality and is conquering new markets," he said.
"The European Union market has very high requirements for product quality" and has not yet complained about Moldovan fruit and vegetables, the minister said.
"It is through this prism that we would like to see an interpretation of the latest statements by Rosselkhoznadzor [Federal Service for Veterinary and Phyto-sanitary Supervision], by the authorities which have the possibility to analyze how valid these accusations are, or not," Popescu said.
On August 9, Yulia Melano, advisor to the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, told reporters that Russia's watchdog is banning imports of crop farming products from 31 districts of Moldova, as well as the autonomous region of Gagauzia and the municipalities of Chisinau and Balti starting from August 15. She said Rosselkhoznadzor was forced to impose the restrictions because it repeatedly found dangerous objects subject to quarantine in Moldovan products imported into Russia.