Moldova calls Russian sanctions 'counterproductive'

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2015 9:19 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Moldova's top diplomat has criticized Russian sanctions against her nation, at a meeting to promote regional trade and political dialogue.

Russia placed an embargo on some Moldovan fruit and vegetables after it signed a trade and political agreement with the European Union in June 2014.

Natalia Gherman called it "a counterproductive move......Moldova did nothing to provoke sanctions." Some 62 percent of Moldova's trade is now with the EU.

Gherman, Moldova's acting foreign minister, spoke Friday at the end of a meeting of the 12-member Black Sea Economic Cooperation, which was overshadowed by political tensions as Russia took over the chairmanship from Romania.

While other countries were represented by foreign ministers and senior foreign ministry officials, Turkey and Ukraine — whose relations have deteriorated with Moscow — sent their ambassadors.

Vasily Nebenzya, a deputy Russian foreign minister, said he had not discussed bilateral issues with the Turkish ambassador Friday, referring to the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey that spiked tensions between the countries. He said Ukraine's ambassador had reiterated Kiev's "well-known" position during the Friday morning meeting, which was off-limits to the media.

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This story has been corrected to show that Gherman is a woman.