MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Moldova’s Constitutional Court has suspended the government’s resolution to give a Russian company the right to run the key Moldovan airport, the court has said on its website.
Earlier Chisinau International Airport was transferred into Russian consortium Avia Invest’s concession for 49 years. A group of liberal lawmakers recently demanded that the tender's results be revised, citing violations.
The court's Tuesday decision was made a few days after Moldova's Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Valeriu Lazar said the tender's winner planned to spend some 240 million euros ($319 million) to upgrade the airport, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Wednesday.
The move followed Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor’s decision Tuesday to ban Moldovan wine imports over quality concerns. Lazar said Tuesday he had already requested the country’s economic and agriculture officials to give an accurate and detailed analysis of the situation on the wine market.
Russia banned Moldovan wine imports in 2006, when the country’s products accounted for about 60 percent of the Russian market. Although the embargo was lifted in late 2007, Moldovan products currently account for about 10 percent of all wine products sold in Russia.
The current ban came amid Moldova’s drive to sign political association as well as free trade agreements with the European Union in November.
Lazar told journalists Wednesday that Moldova’s government would like the situation around Chisinau Airport to be resolved as soon as possible.
“I hope our arguments in the Constitutional Court will be enough to prove the legality of Chisinau Airport’s transfer to concession,” Lazar said, adding that investment should keep coming to the airport to ensure its operation.
Chisinau International Airport is Moldova’s key airport. In 2012, it served 1.2 million passengers.