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Moldova’s Gagauz autonomy resumes agricultural exports to Russia

August 10, 2015, 20:09 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Entrance into the Russia market will enable Gagauzia to replenish its budget and help the local agrarians who are living through hard times because of drought and economic crisis

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© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotayev

CHISINAU, August 10 /TASS/. Agricultural enterprises in Gagauzia, an autonomous region of Moldova, have found ways to resume agricultural exports to Russia as part of development of trade and economic relations with Russia regions, the autonomy’s head, Irina Vlakh, told journalists on Monday as she presented a report on the first one hundred days of her rule.

Gagauzia is an autonomous territorial unit in southern Moldova. About 98% Gagauz voters said they wanted to join the Customs Union at referendum held in February 2014.

Independent candidate Irina Vlakh, who stands for cooperation with Russia, was elected the head of the Gagauz Autonomy in March this year.

"In the first three months of the executive committee’s work we managed to unblock the fruit and wine exports to Russia. The overall export deliveries of the Gagauz autonomy have increased by 15%. Entrance into the Russia market will enable Gagauzia to replenish its budget. It will also help the local agrarians who are living through hard times because of drought and economic crisis," Vlakh stressed.

A cooperation agreement with the Moscow region signed last February gave the Gagauz agricultural producers an opportunity to sell their products at agricultural fairs in the Moscow region directly without intermediaries, Vlakh went on to say.

"The government of the Moscow region has agreed to allocate plots of land for the construction of Gagauzia’s trade house and a chain of trade pavilions," the head of the Gagauz Autonomy said.

"We are negotiating the cancellation of customs duties and a possibility of opening additional customs points in the ports of Novorossiysk and Temryuk. The Russian leadership has said it is ready to contribute to the solution of these issues," Vlakh clarified.

Russia expanding import geography

Russia has been expanding the geography of food imports since it banned the imports of some food and agricultural products from the European Union and some other Western countries last August in retaliation for the anti-Russian sanctions imposed over Russia’s policy in Ukraine.

Russia has allowed six Cuban companies to start delivering shrimps to Russia as of July 24, 2015, according to Alexey Alekseyenko, assistant to the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, a federal body that exercises veterinary and phyto-sanitary control over agricultural imports into Russia.

They are the first Cuban enterprises, whose produce is subject to control by veterinary bodies, which will start supplying shrimps to Russia, Alekseyenko explained.

"Cuba has never been a major exporter of sea foods into Russia but we are going to accept the guarantees of its veterinary service," Alekseyenko told TASS on Monday.

Cuban deliveries to Russia will include various sorts of shrimps, including peeled shrimps, crusted shrimps; live, cooled and frozen shrimps; steamed or boiled shrimps, dry shrimps, salty or pickled shrimps.

Iran, in turn, will start supplying fish and fish products to Russia on a regular basis late in August. It has already supplied a pilot batch of sea foods (30 tonnes) to Russia.

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