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A Moldovan parliamentary delegation will visit Russia April 12-14
A Moldovan parliamentary delegation will visit Moscow April 12-14 to discuss resumption of the country's wine exports to Russia, a parliamentary official said Monday. Russia suspended imports of Moldovan and Georgian wine March 27 following hygiene concerns raised by chief doctor Gennady Onishchenko, who said the wines failed to meet numerous health and safety regulations. Marian Lupu, the speaker of the Moldovan parliament, met Monday with major Moldovan winemakers and discussed ways to deal with the negative impact of the embargo. Georgy Kozub, the head the Moldovan association of wine exporters, said earlier last week that the situation was approaching critical, as the wine industry was a major source of budget revenue. Kozub said the Russian market was strategically important for Moldova, as it consumes 85% of the country's wine exports. Lupu added that the Moldovan delegation would hold talks with senior officials from ruling political party United Russia, the State Duma (parliament's lower house) committee on economic policy, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs and other politicians. With bootlegging a lucrative underground industry in Russia, health officials conducted a series of raids on shops in Moscow last month in an effort to weed out poor-quality wines purporting to be prized labels from both Georgia and Moldova, whose relations with Russia have deteriorated over a number of issues in recent months
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