Moldovan wine returns after 20-month ban

27 August, 2008
Page 7 
Russia has allowed Moldovan wine to be sold on the country's shelves once again, ending a 20-month import ban.

Wine imports from Moldova and Georgia, both former states of the Soviet Union, were halted in 2005, after Russian health officials said the wine was not fit for consumption.

But both countries saw the ban as a political move after Moldova and Georgia cultivated relations with the European Union.

The lifting of the ban is a huge boost for the Moldovan wine industry, which in 2005 sent 80 per cent of its exports to Russia.

The loss of trade in the intervening period is believed to have cost the industry about US$200 million.

The ban has created a shift in the wine market in Russia, Moldova and Georgia.

Russian wine consumers were forced to look to new markets, trying wines from Europe and the New World, while Moldova and Georgia have succeeded in securing new international markets.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to block imports of wine from Georgia.

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Joe Bates

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