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CHISINAU, June 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Moldova would risk losing the CIS market if it signed the EU Association Agreement that stipulates a free trade zone with the EU, director of the Center for Strategic Studies and Reforms of Moldova Galina Shelar told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
“The Moldavian government needs to convince Russia, as its key trade partner, as well as Belarus and maybe Ukraine that their markets will be protected against re-export from the EU,” said the expert. Otherwise, Moldavian exporters could face restrictive measures, she believes.
According to the expert who consulted the government on many occasions, the CIS states make up about 40% of Moldavian trade turnover, most of the amount provided by trade with Russia (26%).
The recent experience shows that the free trade regime in the CIS enjoyed by Moldova can be forfeited, Shelar said, citing several conflicts with the CIS.
Last week, the Russian veterinary and phytosanitary authority Rosselkhoznadzor pointed to a lot of pork with “Made in Belgium” stamps. Moldavian exporters had been previously caught reselling European wine and Polish apples as well as other goods, the expert said, adding possible risks in trade with Moldova were mentioned by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in May.
The EU Association agreement and a free trade agreement are scheduled to be signed on June 27. Speaking of the documents’ benefits and drawbacks, the expert believes their efficiency depend on the actions of the Moldavian government.
“In the years of independence, Moldova has formed a decent legislative framework but we always run into difficulties with its implementation,” Shelar said. It is Chisinau that should stick to new trade rules as the losses would be imperceptible in both the CIS with 0.8% in its total imports and the EU (0.2%).