Moldova says Russia has banned its fruit, veg; says it's retaliation for EU deal

Moldovan officials say a Russian ban on fresh fruit and some vegetables from Moldova is retaliation for the former Soviet republic's moving closer to the European Union.

Russia's state sanitary agency Rospotrebnadzor on Monday placed a ban on Moldovan fruits, citing inconsistencies in labeling and weight.

Veaceslav Ionita, chairman of the Parliament's economic and budget committee, denied that Moldovan fruit posed a health threat and claimed Russia was reacting to Moldova signing an association agreement with the EU in June to forge closer economic and political ties.

"This is a clear signal that Russia is unhappy about what is happening in Moldova," he said, adding the ban will have a minimal impact on exports.

Moldovan officials say fruit including apples, plums and peaches and tinned fruit and vegetables are banned.