Russia may soon ban Moldovan wine imports

14:22, July 18, 2010      

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Russia's top consumer protection official said Saturday that Moldovan wine imports may soon be banned if the quality continues to be substandard.

"If the situation does not change within the next two weeks and each bottle of quality wine is still accompanied by a bottle of off-grade wine, a ban will be imposed," Gennady Onishchenko was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

The possible ban followed the discovery of hazardous substances in half of the wine imported from the impoverished former Soviet republic, in particular dibutyl phthalate, a common ingredient in scented personal care products, Onishchenko said.

Onishchenko, who once said the wine could be used to "paint fences," said that almost one million liters of wine produced by Moldova had been found defective as of June 26.

Russia previously banned imports of Moldovan wine, citing safety and quality reasons in 2006. It was not until mid 2007 that Moldovan wine reentered the Russian market after undergoing sanitary and epidemiological examinations.

Eighty percent of Moldovan wine is sold in Russia.

Relations between Moscow and Chisinau were slightly strained as Mihai Ghimpu, the the acting Moldovan president, last month signed a decree establishing June 28 as a Day of Soviet Occupation. The decree was later cancelled by the constitutional court, saying Ghimpu was not entitled to issue it.

Source: Xinhua


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