BRUSSELS, November 13 (Sputnik) — Moldova's Association Agreement with the European Union may help Moldovan producers recoup losses caused by the Russian ban on food imports, European Parliament's President Martin Schulz said Thursday.
In early July, Russia restricted import of meat products from Moldova, as they failed to meet the sanitary requirements of the Customs Union. Later Russia's agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor extended the restrictions on fresh fruit. From September 1, Russia canceled zero import tariffs on wine, meet, fruit, vegetables and corn from Moldova responding to the country's signing of the free trade agreement with the European Union.
"…My feeling is that the losses created by the embargo could be balanced even in a short term, now that the agreement is put in force and access to the European market could create the alternative for producers in your country, who had losses from the embargo," Martin Schulz said at a press conference with President of the Moldovan Parliament Igor Corman.
On Thursday, the European Parliament voted in favor of ratifying the union's Association Agreement with Moldova. The agreement was ratified by the Moldovan Parliament back in July, with 59 of its 101 members backing the motion.
Moldova's aspirations for closer ties with the European Union have been met with mixed feelings in the country. According to surveys, half of the population opposes European integration due to expectations of negative economic consequences from the deal.
Moldova also has a free trade agreement with Russia in the CIS framework. Russia has repeatedly expressed deep concern over the country's signing of the EU agreement, saying it would be forced to protect its market once it faces an uncontrolled flow of duty-free goods.