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EU Mulls End Of All Restrictions On Moldovan Wine Imports

Moldovans preparing to celebrate an event called National Wine Day in October 2012.
The EU commissioner for agriculture has proposed eliminating all restrictions on Moldovan wine imports ahead of Moldova's initialing of an association agreement with the 28-member bloc.

Dacian Ciolos said the measure is meant to help Moldovan wine producers who are facing a difficult time in the wake of a new Russian ban on Moldovan wine imports.

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Ciolos told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that "lifting all restrictions...shows that the EU is not only about economic integration but also about solidarity."

The Russian ban was widely seen as a warning to Chisinau ahead of the EU's Eastern Parternship summit in November, where Moldova hopes to be offered an association agreement.

Ciolos said his proposal will now have to be approved by the EU Council of Ministers -- a process which he said could take from several weeks to several months.

With reporting by and