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Moldova fed up with Russian inspectors

History

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin stated at the end of last week that inspectors from Rospotrebnadzor, the federal consumer rights agency, will no longer be allowed to enter Moldova to inspect the country’s wineries.

The President made that announcement on live national television on the program “Conversations with the President”. He spoke almost immediately after Rospotrebnadzor announced that it was increasing the number of Moldovan winemakers whose products could be sold in Russia to seven and that 12 more were undergoing sanitary-epidemiological examination.

According to the Moldovan president, there are 174 wine and cognac producers in the country. “They do not make documental contact with us,” a high-place official in the Moldovan presidential administration told Kommersant. “They just come, look and praise it. Then they decide something in Moscow and we find out about from the Internet. We weren't against visits to our vineyard originally, but it has to stop somehow. We are paying for all the examinations. Each lab test costs $500 and they need 20 of them for every product!” No one has seen a list of Moldovan companies that have access to the Russian market, but press reports note the presence of Calarasi-Divin, Intertrade, Kvint, Vismos and Moldovan Bouquet there.

Calarasi-Divin is part of the Mezhrespublikansky Vinozavod holding, which also includes Russian vintners. Vismos and Moldovan Bouquet are owned by the Aroma company, which is partially Russian-owned. Kvint is produced located in the breakaway republic of Transdniestria and is closely tied to the local leadership. Intertrade is little known in Moldova. Its ownership is unclear. Moldova’s best-known wines are not available in Russia.

Sources in Chisinau say that the wine war with Moscow was settled between the country’s presidents when they met on July 22. Voronin blames Rospotrebnadzor head Gennady Onishchenko for the continuing hold up. Onishchenko has yet to respond to his accusations. Russian-Moldovan relations as a whole have markedly improved recently. The ruling Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova, which Voronin leads, has fallen in polls to third place, and the president desperately needs the support of the Moldovan business community. (kommersant.com)

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