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MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) - Russia is about to impose a ban on imports of Moldovan wines, Russian chief sanitary doctor and head of the consumer rights protection watchdog (Rospotrebnadzor), Gennady Onishchenko, said at a news conference at Itar-Tass on Thursday.
He said several days ago Russia banned several batches of Moldovan wines, which had been found to have hazardous substances, including dibutyl phthalate. “We see a backslide tendency,” he noted, adding that the situation was resembling that of several year ago when Russia had to ban imports of Moldovan wines.
Earlier, Moldova’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Vasily Bumakov pledged his country would fulfill all Rospotrebnadzor’s requirements to improve the quality of wines for continued exports to Russia. “Reports about the new results of inspections of Moldovan wineries were sent to Moscow last week,” Burmakov said, pointing to additional expenses ahead for producers. But Moldova was ready to do all that was necessary to maintain good relations with Rospotrebnadzor in maintaining sales to Russia, he added.
Russian authorities say Moldovan wineries have supplied tens of millions of euros' worth of products to Russia and that less than 1 percent of the volume was checked for quality in the appropriate Moldovan centre. After four batches of Moldovan wine, more than 28,000 litres, were rejected last week, Onishchenko accused authorities in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, of having no efficient control system. He did not rule out returning to the situation of 2006, when Russia imposed an embargo on Moldovan wines. The Russian official said it was necessary to return to "the tested practice" of direct cooperation with associations of producers and suppliers as existed when the ban was gradually lifted.
Before the ban was imposed, Moldovan wines accounted for 60 percent of the Russian market. At present, they have no more than ten percent.