The ban imposed by Moscow on the import of fruit and vegetables from Moldova is a response to Chisinau’s decision to subscribe to the international sanctions against Russia, said the executive director of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) Iulian Groza. According to the expert, the ban comes in the wake of farmers’ protests as Russia hopes the farmers will step up the pressure on the Moldovan authorities, IPN reports.
On December 4, Russia’s ban on the import of Moldova fruit and vegetables took effect. The Russian food safety body Rosselkhoznadzor said that dangerous insects were detected in the Moldovan products, such as Grapholita molesta, Frankliniella occidentalis, Bactrocera dorsalis and others, which are banned in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. The IPRE director said the Moldovan producers can now reorient their exports to the EU market, which was liberalized.
“The types of pressure that Russia can impose on Moldova have contracted. It’s clear that it is a ban imposed to grow pressure on our country. The move was probably made in the context of farmers’ protests for these to increase pressure on the authorities. It was a response to the Republic of Moldova’s decision to subscribe to the sanctions imposed by the European Union against the Russian Federation. Every time Russia imposed these bans, our producers gained as they managed to reorient their exports to a much safer market, the market of the European Union. For a year already, the Republic of Moldova has exported to the EU without any quotas. The EU market was liberalized,” Iulian Groza stated in the program “Secrets of the Power” on JurnalTV channel.
Ex-MP Iurie Reniță described Russia’s decision as political, saying that the previous bans made out producers direct their exports to much more predictable and stable markets.
“It is a gesture of despair and it is rather embarrassing as it comes from a huge country. There is a huge difference between the European market, which is predictable, stable, profitable, and the Russian market, which is eminently political. There are now no export quotas in the European Union. It is the responsibility of the producers and the authorities, which should help the producers to enter this stable market. The commercial and other types of relations with Russia are related to a sad past marked by blackmail against the Republic of Moldova,” stated Iurie Reniță.
Reacting to the ban imposed by Russia on the import of Moldovan fruit and vegetables, the National Food Safety Agency said that no other countries, except Russia, notified it of particular violations. “The Russian authorities’ decision runs counter to the international phytosanitary principles and is not based on any real argument,” it noted.