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    Improvement of Russian-Moldovan relations depends on Moldova - ambassador at large

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    MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - The improvement of relations between Russia and Moldova depends on the position of Moldova, ambassador at large of the Russian Foreign Ministry Igor Savolsky told Moldovan journalists in Moscow on Friday.

    "We think that much depends now on the position of the Moldovan side," he said.

    Commenting on the ban on the import of Moldovan meat and agricultural products to Russia, Savolsky said: "It is not a ban but a proposal for consultations." "There are certain rules in foreign trade. If they are violated, as in the case of meat supplies, this may harm us. This is why we invite Moldova to resume abidance by these rules, which have been set multilaterally and bilaterally."

    "We do not take away privileges. It is just routine work of those who see to it that products from third countries, which are to be levied by import duties, do not reach us from a CIS country with which we have free trade," Savolsky said.

    Asked about Moldova's economic sanctions against rebellious Transdniestria, he said that such measures could only aggravate the long conflict.

    "Such methods only toughen the position of the opposite side. They are useless and can only strengthen the embattled-fortress impression," Savolsky said.

    Transdniestria is home for over 600,000 people and sanctions "will only hit ordinary people, not the leadership." "Almost every third of them is our fellow-countrymen," he said.

    According to Savolsky, Transdniestria has developed industry and Russian enterprises maintain active contacts with that region. "There is a danger of direct damage to our business. We think that such measures are wrong and counterproductive. We have to work with the Moldovan government for preventing damage to our business from these measures," Savolsky said.

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