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Moldova will fight for Russian markets

September 08, 2014, 18:28 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Russia is Moldova’s biggest trade partner

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CHISINAU, September 08./ITAR-TASS/. Moldova is interested in deepening ties with Russia and settling problems emerging after it signed the association agreement with the European Union, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

“There are no structural, irreconcilable contradictions in our relations,” the prime minister said.

“There are fears as to our intentions. We will be removing these fears. We will prove through a calm and friendly policy that we don’t pursue anti-Russian goals,” Iurie Leanca said.

He said a sizable part of the population felt friendly towards Russia, and this feeling must be propped up “by positive projects”.

“We talked a lot with Russian colleagues, trying to sort out what exactly causes fears in the trade treaty with the EU. No problem components necessitating radical measures were found,” the premier said.

“We will be conducting negotiations, fighting for Russian markets, which are important for us,” he said. The prime minister said the government would also take measures to protect the interests of Moldovan nationals working in Russia, who make contribution to the Moldovan and Russian economies.

Russian revised trade rules with Moldova after it had signed an agreement to create a free trade zone with the European Union. “Being a member of a free trade zone within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Moldova signed an agreement with the EU, while these two agreements don’t fit together,” said Russian Ambassador to Moldova Farit Mukhametshin.

Russia is Moldova’s biggest trade partner. Last year, trade between the two countries stood at about $1.4 billion. Moldova exports to Russia mainly food, importing energy resources. Besides, according to official data, more than 55% of Moldovan’s labour migrants work in Russia, letting the Moldovan economy stay afloat by their money transfers.

Russia’s embargo, introduced on July 21 - two weeks before Moscow issued a wider ban on western produce - covers imports of Moldovan apples, plums, peaches and canned fruit. Russia also abolished duty-free exemptions for a number of Moldovan products such as meat, vegetables, sugar and wine. According to the government, Moldovan agricultural producers might lose about $150 million under the worst of scenarios.

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