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CHISINAU, July 5. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin who co-chairs the Russian-Moldovan intergovernmental commission begins a two-day visit to Moldova today.
His talks in Chisinau with Economics Minister Octavian Calmic will center around a roadmap for restoring trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Moldovan government is highly interested in the return of Moldovan produce to the Russian market, as Russia was the main export destination for the local producer for many decades. Trade relations between the two countries suffered in 2014 after Chisinau signed an agreement on association with the EU and Russia imposed a ban on Moldovan wines, fruit and canned vegetables in an apprehension of re-exports of European products via Moldova.
"Last year alone, the exports of Moldovan produce to Russia, a strategic market for this country, shrank by more than 40%," Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists and the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy before 2009 told TASS.
"The hopes to make up for the loss of the Russian market by exports to the EU have proved futile," he said. "Instead of the double-digit growth of exports to the EU promised by the government its reduction by 7% since the beginning of the year has taken place."
Resumption of trade was discussed in the course of meetings, which the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov held in April and May in Moscow and in Sochi with his Moldovan counterpart, Andrei Galbur.
Also, the problem was discussed by the Russian and Moldovan Prime Ministers, Dmitry Medvedev and Pavel Filip, who held talks on the sidelines of a session of the CIS Council of Prime Ministers in Bishkek.
Rogozin and Calmic also plan to arrange a new session of the intergovernmental commission that met the previous time in 2012. Rogozin’s agenda includes talks with Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister for European Reintegration, Gheorghe Balan.
Rogozin and Balan will take a look at the prospects for peace settlement in the much-troubled unrecognized Dniester Republic.
At the initiative of Germany, which is currently holding a term of rotating presidency in the European Security Organization OSCE, the first meeting in the Five plus Two format (the Dniester Republic and Moldova as the main negotiating parties, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE as mediators, and the EU and the US as observers - TASS) was held in Berlin at the beginning of June.
Cord Meier Klodt, a special representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office said upon the completion of the meeting the Moldovan government should not feel apprehensive that concessions Transdniestria will inevitably bring on its independence.
The problem of negotiations will also be the highlight of Rogozin’s talks in the Dniester Republic, which has found itself in a highly complicated economic situation while the presidential election is already in sight.
Rogozin is expected to meet with President Yevgeny Shevchuk and with members of the regional legislature led by Speaker Vadim Krasnoselsky.
"He will get familiarized with the situation in the republic and, in the first place, with our social and economic agenda," Shevchuk told reporters.
He also said the Russian delegation would include officials from various ministries and economic departments who will examine an opportunity to stimulate the Dniester economy, which was going through a hard period because of restrictive measures on the part of both Moldova and Ukraine.
Rogozin is also expected to visit a post of Russian peacekeepers and the group of Russian troops stationed in the region.