Moldova Gets Support to Boost Wine Sales

Moldovan Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii won support from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday for an increase in Moldovan wine sales in Russia.

Twenty-five Moldovan wine companies are supplying Russia, and the number could grow by a further 22 companies soon, Putin said after the meeting in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence.

"The product enjoys demand in Russia," Putin said, Interfax reported. "Its price and quality meet international standards and are liked by our consumers."

Russia banned sales of Moldovan wine in 2006 amid a chill in diplomatic relations, saying it did not meet quality standards. Imports restarted last year.

Greceanii, meanwhile, said she had a "productive" meeting at Gazprom on Friday. "We have unsolved problems that we will resolve," she said.

In gas trade, Moldova has debts to Gazprom for the fuel it consumed in previous years, but it has made efforts to pay more regularly, a source in the Cabinet said, Interfax reported.

Moldova imports about 3 billion cubic meters of gas annually and is a transit country for Gazprom to sell the fuel to the Balkans.

Overall trade between Russia and Moldova increased to $1 billion last year, Putin said.