Moldova’s new Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet has called for a reset in relations with Russia, he said on Saturday, aired by national television.
“Russia is an important partner for our country but today we are lacking mutual understanding. We must bridge this gap, sit at the negotiating table and reset our relations,” Strelet said noting that the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty sealed by the former Soviet republics “is not working in practice.”
Chisinau “regards as an embargo” a ban on imports of certain Moldovan goods to Russia, he said.
“Our relations can hardly be called strategic,” Strelet said in conclusion.
Exports of Moldovan goods to Russia were reduced in 2014 after the country concluded the Association Agreement with the European Union. Russia, fearing of re-export of EU goods via Moldova, eliminated zero duty rates for certain products, including wine, meat, vegetables, fruit and grain.
Along with this, supplies of Moldovan fruit, which failed to meet the Russian quality requirements, were temporarily banned.
The Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor sent a delegation to Moldova so as to unblock the deliveries. However, after this visit Russian Ambassador to Chisinau Farit Mukhametshin said Moldova had adopted a passive stance.
On Thursday Strelet’s cabinet was approved by the country’s parliament. Besides restoring relations with Russia, the new government aims to gain a status of EU candidate country and to promote strategic dialogues with the United States and Romania.