CHISINAU, October 25. /TASS/. Moldova still considers Russia as its strategic partner, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Octavian Calmic said in the interview with Moldova’s magazine Banks & Finances on Wednesday.
Over the past three years, Russia has been Moldova’s second-largest trade partner and bilateral trade reached $768.3 mln in 2016, said Calmic, who co-chairs the Russian-Moldovan intergovernmental commission.
The minister noted that Moldova’s exports to Russia dropped 40% after Moscow had introduced customs duties and other restrictions for 19 categories of Moldovan goods, which account for 80% of the country’s overall exports.
In January-June 2017, Moldova’s exports to Russia reached $116.6mln, a 20% growth compared with the same period of last year, while the imports totaled $261.2 mln, a 4% increase, the minister said.
The number of Moldovan companies supplying wine, fruits, meat and canned goods to Russia has grown "thanks to the agreements reached at a meeting between the two presidents, Vladimir Putin and Igor Dodon," he said.
Early last year, Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip pledged to step up dialogue with Moscow to normalize bilateral ties, including in trade and economic, energy and migration areas.