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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moldovan Wine Makes a Comeback

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Moldova n wine made its way back into Russian shops Thursday after a 20-month import ban that dealt a heavy economic blow to Europe's poorest country.

Russia banned wine imports from both Moldova and Georgia in 2005, saying much of it was dangerous to consumers. Moldova called the ban punishment for attempts to move closer to Europe.

The ban was lifted after Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin gradually took steps to mend ties with Russia and measures were taken to improve the quality of the wine.

"Today, the first shipment passed through Russian customs and has been unloaded at a Moscow warehouse," said Iurie Mudria, export manager at Moldova-Vin, the government department overseeing the wine industry.

Voronin and President Vladimir Putin announced the lifting of the ban last November, but it has taken nearly a year to resume shipments.