Russia confirms high quality of Moldovan wine. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“Missis Maia Sandu should prove that she is a better President than her predecessor Igor Dodon, including by profiting from the results of the ACF investigations to request the Russian authorities to renounce the shameful political sanction against the Republic of Moldova, bringing thus the bilateral commercial relations to normality, as the Free Trade Agreement in the CIS provides...”
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Triumph of truth

During its short period of existence as an independent state, the Republic of Moldova was subject to multiple risks. Besides different internal risks, there are also external risks. This way, the main strategic partner, the Russian Federation, through President Vladimir Putin’s voice, openly says that the Russian people made territorial presents to the former Soviet republics and now consider they have the right to punish them by withdrawing the presents, if these do not want to integrate into the Community of Independent States (CIS), the Customs Union (CU) or the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). An intermediary method for punishing the disobedient partners is to impose economic penalties.

The economic penalties against the Republic of Moldova were imposed in 2006, after the signing of the EU – Republic of Moldova Action Plan. The formal pretext invoked by the chief sanitary inspector of Russia for introducing drastic measures against the Moldovan wines was the “food safety indicators”. The ban lasted for several years and was lifted gradually towards 2011, when the Free Trade Agreement between 11 states of the CIS, except Georgia, was signed. Two years later, in September 2013, before the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU by the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation introduced a total ban on the import of Moldovan wines and other agricultural products because they didn’t meet the safety requirements.

Four years later, in 2017, public opinion all over the world could see that the Moldovan wine of which the Russian consumers were striped was a real treat for the elite circles of Russia. Indeed, the ban on the Moldovan wines was imposed in September 2013, while the investigation of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) shows that in over three months, in December 2013, the Russian Prime Minister of that period, Dmitry Medvedev, ordered for his residence in Psehako a batch of Moldovan wine for consumption in the company of the most select and close persons (min. 15.27 – 16.55).

Four years have already passed since the publication of the ACF investigation that was seen by over 40 million people, but the truth about the quality of the Moldovan wines remains somehow overshadowed. What is more curious is that the post of President of the Republic of Moldova in the period was held by the leader of the PSRM Igor Dodon, who, in his electoral program of 2016, promised: “During a short period of time, I will obtain the full return of the Moldovan products to the Russian market”. But during his presidential tenure, Igor Dodon, who made over 70 official and working visits, more than half of which to the Russian Federation, didn’t manage to fulfill his promise to restore free trade. The failure in his activity was confirmed immediately after the expiry of his presidential tenure, when ex-President Igor Dodon went again to Moscow to express his gratitude for the concessions offered to Moldovan exporters in 2018-2020 for delivering agrifood products to the Russian market duty-free, based on lists compiled specially by the leader of the PSRM.

So, we can say that we have conclusive evidence that the Moldovan wine is of a very high quality and is appreciated and drunk by representatives of the Russian elite, which imposed a commercial ban on the Republic of Moldova as a punishment measure because this dared to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, not because the wine didn’t meet the sanitary norms.

Moldovan wines’ perspective of returning to Russian market

Even if the truth triumphed and over 40 million Russian consumers could see that the Moldovan wine is actually an excellent product, the wines’ prospects of returning to the Russian market are very gloomy. The truth is that after a new investigation by the ACF about the palace of President Vladimir Putin and the vineyards (min.1.06.40 – 1.09.35) situated in the neighborhood of this was published on January 19, 2021 and during only five days was seen by over 80 million people, the investigation published four years ago, which was seen by only 40 million people, could not be so topical anymore.

We can anticipate that in several days or weeks, the whole population of the Russian Federation the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union and even the whole CIS will see the ACF’s film and will become curious to taste the wines Lazurnaya iagoda and Divnomorie made from grapes grown on the vineyards of President Putin, to the detriment of the Moldovan wines. In such a station, we can only regret that the Moldovan authorities, especially ex-President Igor Dodon, did absolutely nothing to restore the reputation of the Moldovan wines after the ACF’s investigation made public four years ago and to persuade the Russian authorities to life the ban and to restore the commercial cooperation under the Free Trade Agreement.

Conclusions

The Moldovan winemakers and tourist firms should actively disseminate the results of the ACF’s investigation of 2017 so as to promote the quality of the Moldovan wines. The revealing of the methods by which the Moldovan wines, despite the Russian bans, manage to get onto the tables of the elite circles of Russia, including of pretentious officials who imposed the ban for purely political reasons, could draw the attention of international consumers from all the meridians.

As the two investigations by the ACF mentioned above highlighted the quality of the Moldovan wines, tasting events for comparing our wines with Lazurnaya iagoda and Divnomorie should be annually staged within the Wine Festival.

Missis Maia Sandu should prove that she is a better President than her predecessor Igor Dodon, including by profiting from the results of the ACF investigations to request the Russian authorities to renounce the shameful political sanction against the Republic of Moldova, bringing thus the bilateral commercial relations to normality, as the Free Trade Agreement in the CIS provides.

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