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Moldova Protests Against Russia’s New Ban on Fruit Imports: No Grounds for Restrictions

The pro-European authorities in Moldova have strongly rejected the recent ban imposed by Russia on the import of its fruit and vegetables. This move marks another setback for the already strained relations between Moscow and the ex-Soviet state.

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The Russian agricultural watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, announced on Thursday that it would reinstate the previous restrictions, citing concerns over quarantine measures. However, Moldova’s food safety agency, ANSA, has stated that these restrictions have no basis in the quality of the goods and that no other importing countries have raised any complaints.

In a statement, ANSA refuted the Russian claims and called them unfounded. The agency highlighted that there is no evidence of any harmful organisms in their products, as confirmed by laboratory tests.

These restrictions from Russia are not new; they have intermittently prohibited Moldovan farm goods for the past twenty years, often coinciding with deteriorating relations between the two countries.

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Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who is pushing for EU membership, has criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and accused Moscow of attempting to orchestrate a coup against her government. She has also accused Russia of interfering in Moldova’s recent local elections.

Credit: DepositPhotos

The animosity between the two sides has been escalating, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissing Western criticism of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Lavrov suggested that Moldova is being readied as the next victim in the hybrid warfare orchestrated by the West against Russia.

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Moldovan fruit producers have stated that Russia intentionally imposed these restrictions at a time when their goods flood the Russian market. However, they have assured that they are prepared for the ban.

Iurie Fala, the Executive Director of the Moldovan Fruit Producers Association, mentioned that they have managed to redirect their apple exports to 28 other countries, especially within the EU. Moreover, there is an apple shortage in the EU this year, which is expected to boost sales for Moldovan producers.

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