SOCHI, October 10./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed on Tuesday efforts by his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon towards normalizing Russian-Moldovan relations.
"We highly appreciate your efforts to normalize Russian-Moldovan relations, we see that the process proceeds with difficulties, but we assume that both the people of Moldova and the people of the Russian Federation are interested in its positive result," the Russian leader said in opening remarks at talks with Igor Dodon.
Putin also pledged that Russia will "certainly be building our economic relations in the future proceeding from the level of our political cooperation". "As of today, we want to support your sincere intention to restore and develop Russian-Moldovan relations," President Putin said.
Putin reiterated Russia’s earlier decisions - "liberalization with regard to labor migrants, the opening of certain segments of the Russian market for products sensitive for the Moldovan economy".
"I must say plainly that it’s not that this was done as an advance, this was done with an aim to support your efforts aimed at normalizing Russian-Moldovan relations," the Russian president told the Moldovan leader.
"We expect very much that people will see and appreciate this, and will be supporting in every way those forces in your country that are aimed at further improving and building Russian-Moldovan relations," President Putin said.
"We can say that we saw a lot of changes for the better (in Russian-Moldovan relations) in (the first) nine months (of the year), but problems also existed," President Igor Dodon said, for his part.
Focusing on positive changes, he mentioned "a sizable growth in Moldovan goods’ exports on the Russian market - more than 17% in the first seven months of 2017, a many-fold growth on certain commodities," for example exports of table grapes to Russia growing 19 times, and apple exports growing threefold.
President Dodon also thanked the Russian leader for the settlement of labor migration problems. "Dozens of thousands have got a possibility to solve their problems and be legalized, or once again go to the Russian Federation," he added.
Focusing on problems marring bilateral ties, he said "not everybody likes the restart of our strategic partnership - there have been certain attempts from inside and outside the country to provoke the leadership of our countries into confrontation," Dodon said. Nevertheless, Moscow and Chisinau "continue normal contacts," he stated.