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Tom Joyce



Russia bans Moldovan fruit

Phytosanitary concerns have been cited as the reason, but Moldova's growing ties with the EU appear to be behind Russia's latest ban

Russia bans Moldovan fruit

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Last week Russia imposed a temporary ban on fruit imports from Moldova, following the ban introduced at the end of last year on Moldovan wine.

The decision was taken due to "systematic violations of international and Russian phytosanitary requirements", according to the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service.

The prohibition reportedly applies to apples, pears, quinces, apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and sloes, the Moscow Times revealed. 

The move is thought by many to be a reaction to Moldova's fostering of closer economic and political relations with the European Union, with the Moldovan parliament ratifying an association agreement with the EU earlier this month.

Russian politicians have expressed fears that a free trade zone with the EU would flood the Russian market with Moldovan imports and cheap, re-exported European goods.

Moldovan imports currently benefit from a lack of customs duties since the country is a member of a free-trade zone with Russia and other CIS nations.

Alexander Slusar, the chairman of Moldovan agricultural union Uniagroprotekt, has stated that the ban could lead to a collapse in fruit prices on the Moldovan market.

"Only 10 to 20 per cent of producers can reorient their exports to other countries," he told Prime news agency. "They will be forced to sell their harvests on the domestic market."

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