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Moldovan PM Says EU May Double Wine Imports

The EU has vowed to substantially increase Moldovan wine imports to ease the effects of a possible Russian embargo.
CHISINAU -- Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat says the European Union has promised to import more Moldovan wine just as Russia has threatened to embargo wine shipments from Moldova, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Filat, who visited Brussels on July 27, told RFE/RL the next day that the EU might double Moldova's quota for wine exports. But he admitted it would take some time before that happens.

The Russian agency for consumer protection has said it is considering a ban on several leading Moldovan wine producers after finding hazardous substances in batches of wine it has sampled.

It has accused Chisinau of not monitoring the quality of wine exports.

Several Moldovan politicians have claimed the threat of a ban was politically motivated because of Chisinau's decision to initiate a holiday marking the Day of Soviet Occupation.

But the Moldovan government has also admitted that not all wine sold to Russia meets that country's health standards.

Filat told RFE/RL in an interview that during his meetings in Brussels with EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, he asked the EU to help Moldova set up laboratories to conduct more stringent quality-control testing of its products.

The EU and Russia are the main markets for Moldovan wine, which accounts for 40 percent of its GDP and is the country's main export.