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MOSCOW, September 20 (Itar-Tass) - Russia will lift its ban on imports of Moldovan wines only when Moldova re-establishes its national quality and safety control system, Russian chief sanitary doctor and head of the national consumer rights protection authority (Rospotrebnadzor) Gennady Onishchenko said on Friday after talks with Moldovan Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Vasile Bumacov.
“Moldova’s quality control system has completely discredited itself in the eyes of Russia,” Onishchenko said. “We have verified information that those White Stork (a cognac trademark) batches, where we detected fluidizing agents, had been checked in Moldova but they had not informed us about that.”
Russia imposed a ban on imports of Moldovan wines on September 10 over their inferior quality. Earlier in 2013, Rospptrebnadzor exposed eight batches of Moldovan alcoholic products (two batches of wine and six batches of cognac) that did not meet Russia’s quality and safety standards. Rospetrebnadzor specialists found dibutyl phthalate contents exceeding safe levels by 80-90 times. Apart from that, according to Rospotrebnadzor, products of a number of wine makers, including VinariaPurcari, Cricova Winery, Aroma, and Alianta-Vin, did not meet acid mass concentration requirements.
“We have agreed that the Moldovan side will inform us about the re-establishment of its national wine products quality and safety management system, and after that we shall decide when to resume imports,” Onishechenko said.
Moldova’s losses from the Russian ban may reach 60 million U.S. dollars a year, a spokesman for the Centre for the Study of the Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets told Itar-Tass. In 2012, Moldova’s wine and cognac exports to Russia amounted to 60 million U.S. dollars, of which five million U.S. dollars were proceeds from the export of cognacs. In 2013, Russia imported 25.136 million litres of Moldovan wines and cognacs. Twenty-one Moldovan companies exported wines and wine materials to Russia.
In 2006, Russia imposed a ban on Moldovan wine imports. Whereas in 2005-2006, or before the ban was imposed, Russia had accounted for 85 percent of Moldova’s wine exports, in 2013, the figure was reduced to 30-35 percent. In the meantime, Moldova is using possibilities under European Union’s quotas and sells 10-15 percent of its entire imports on the European Union markets.