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Moldovan farmers begin protests, demand compensation for loss of Russian market

August 25, 2015, 17:12 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Today’s protest involves the owners of gardens who have been waiting for the promised government compensation since last year

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© TASS/Sergei Konkov

CHISINAU, August 25. /TASS/. About a hundred farmers have picketed the Ministry of Finance in the capital of Moldova on Tuesday to press for compensation payments for the loss of the Russian market.

"We have delivered an ultimatum to the government until September 10. After that we will resume the protests. Those will be mass protests with the use of vehicles and the blocking of roads," head of the Uniagroprtotect association of farmers Alexander Slusar told TASS on Tuesday.

Today’s protest involves the owners of gardens who have been waiting for the government compensation since last year. The authorities at that time promised them subsidies, if they agreed to sell apples and plums for processing at the minimum price. Shortly before, the farmers expressed their dissatisfaction with the meeting with Moldova’s new Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet who promised them to solve the problem "inasmuch as possible."

According to Slusar, on August 26 the country’s largest farmers’ associations will hold a general meeting where they plan to endorse a joint action plan. Earlier this year, they held several large-scale demonstrations.

After the signing of the treaty on the establishment of the free trade zone with the European Union by Chisinau, Russia fearing re-export of European products via Moldova, canceled zero rates of duty for a number of goods from this country, including wine, meat, vegetables, fruits and grain. Last year Moscow imposed temporary restrictions on the imports of Moldovan fruits, which did not meet Russian quality standards. This year, the situation has been further aggravated by dry weather.

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