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PM Ponta says Romania will push for support helping Moldova overcome Russian sanctions

Premier Victor Ponta said on Wednesday that Romania will further provide the Republic of Moldova all support at EU level to overcome the situation created as a result of the economic sanctions imposed by the Russian Federation on Moldovan exports of agricultural products and foodstuff.

'Regrettably enough, sanctions and trouble hit mainly those on the other side of the Prut [River]. I talked with [Moldovan] Prime Minister Leanca and he will have our full support as concerns the economic sanctions the Russian Federation imposed on Moldova. Our Minister of Agriculture, Mr. [Daniel] Constantin discussed with the European Commissioner and the other partners of ours for us to support Moldova,' the Prime Minister said at the Government meeting.

Ponta stressed that he thus wanted to highlight the fact that the support offered to Moldova comes from Romania, not just from the Ministry of Agriculture.

'I wanted to be the one to state it, so that it wouldn't appear that this bid of support comes just from the Minister of Agriculture; this is Romania's full support for the lift of European quotas on Moldova's farming and food products. This is an important goal for Romania and a concrete support we extend to Moldova,' said the Premier.

Victor Ponta added that at the end of the Government meeting, Minister of Agriculture Daniel Constantin will present in a press briefing 'the positive development (...) direct payments will see in 2015 and in the next period.'

Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselhoznadzor) announced on Monday that is has suspended imports of canned vegetables from Moldova, RIA Novosti informs.

The measure comes just days after the same agency banned fruit imports from the Republic of Moldova.


Romania to start supplying natural gas to Republic of Moldova in August


Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Wednesday that Romania will start supplying natural gas to the Republic of Moldova through the Iasi (northeastern Romania) - Ungheni pipeline in August, as scheduled.

'I am convinced that the support to the energy sector [for the Republic of Moldova] will also begin in August,' Ponta said, before asking the Minister Delegate for Energy Razvan Nicolescu to present an update on the Iasi-Ungheni project.

'Minister Nicolescu, will the first molecule of gas pass through the [Iasi-Ungheni] gas pipeline in August?' Ponta asked; Nicolescu confirmed.

'Before the government meeting, colleagues at [the national gas transmission company] Transgaz informed me that the talks on the operation agreement for the Iasi-Ungheni interconnector have been completed. I think that we might be able to conclude this important project at end-August, and I thank all my colleagues who contributed to its realization on time, and 10 percent below the planned budget,' Ponta added.