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Moldova resumes wine exports to Russia-1

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CHISINAU, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - Moldova resumes wine exports to Russia on Tuesday, earlier suspended over what Moscow called "quality problems," the Moldova-Vin agro-industrial agency said.

The move became possible after Russia's consumer rights agency agreed to lift the ban for several Moldovan wine companies in August.

"Companies will start receiving permits today for delivering wine to Russia," state agency head Valeriu Mironescu told a news conference.

Russia, which had imported 80% of all wine produced in Moldova, imposed the embargo in March, 2006 citing consumer safety. The ban dealt a severe blow to the small, impoverished ex-Soviet nation's economy, bringing many winemaking enterprises to the brink of bankruptcy.

Moldova's president arrived in Moscow in June to focus on the embargo issue among others, saying his country had met all the demands put forward by Russian food safety regulators, introducing a rigorous quality-control and certification system for wines and liquors sold both domestically and abroad.

But many experts say imposing the embargo was a politically motivated decision, as relations between Russia and Moldova have been strained over Transdnestr, a breakaway republic in Moldova with an ethnic Russian majority, which proclaimed its independence from Moldova after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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