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  Monday, June 17, 2019
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Moldova's president said Wednesday he expects relations with Russia to improve
Moldova's president said Wednesday he expects relations with Russia to improve, particularly following Tuesday's summit of ex-Soviet republics. After the Commonwealth of Independent States summit in the Belarusian capital Minsk, Vladimir Voronin held bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart, at which Vladimir Putin agreed to lift a ban on the imports of Moldovan wines and meat imposed by Russia earlier this year on health and safety grounds. "The main thing that happened in Minsk yesterday, and which was set to happen, is that we achieved new, strong dynamism in our relations," the Moldovan leader said. The leaders also agreed to resume discussions on Transdnestr, a breakaway republic in Moldova with a largely Russian-speaking population. Disputes involving the region, which proclaimed its independence from Moldova after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but has not obtained recognition since the bloody conflicts that ensued, has been a source of contention in relations between Russia and Moldova, over Moscow's alleged support for separatists in the republic. "If things continue in the same key, we will make a large step towards resolving the Transdnestr problem," Voronin said. He said market mechanisms for stabilizing the price of Russian natural gas sold to Moldova, which Russia's Gazprom wants to raise for all CIS countries toward the average European level of around $230 per 1,000 cubic meters, were also discussed at the bilateral meeting. "We did not discuss figures, but the approaches [to the issue], which we recognized as being the only acceptable ones," Voronin said. The Moldovan leader said he was pleased that an atmosphere has been established in the CIS that is favorable for talks on any issues.
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