The European Commission has said it plans to drop trade barriers to Moldovan wine, in a riposte to Russia’s ban on imports.
The Commission plans to fast-track a deal that would ‘fully open’ the EU market to Moldovan wines before a recently-agreed free trade agreement is implemented.
Its move follows Russia’s decision to re-impose a ban on imports of Moldovan wine. Russia cited impurities and poor quality in samples, but the ban also coincided with an announcement that Moldova and the EU will sign an ‘association agreement’ – which includes the free trade deal – in November this year.
‘The EU’s market is a sustainable alternative and a viable pole of stability for the Moldovan wine sector,’ said EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Cioloş. ‘Beyond being a very successful economic integration project, the EU is also a space of solidarity.’
A current trade deal between the EU and Moldova restricts Moldovan wine imports to 24m litres per year.
In order to relax that rule, the Commission still needs to secure the agreement of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.
Written by Chris Mercer