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Moldova Signs Deal Backing Russia's WTO Bid


Moldova has signed an agreement with Moscow backing Russian membership in the World Trade Organization after Russia promised to resolve an agricultural dispute.

Russian Trade and Economic Development Minister German Gref signed the deal in Moscow Wednesday with Moldovan Trade Minister Igor Dodon.

Moldova had threatened to block Russian WTO membership after Russia barred Moldovan wine exports in March. Russia said the wines contained pesticides.

Moldova called the move a political reaction to its efforts to establish better ties with the West. Moldova is one of Europe's poorest countries and it depends on its wine exports.

Russia must also reach WTO agreements with Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala.

But Georgia is currently its biggest obstacle to the WTO. Russia also banned Georgian wines in March and tensions remain over two breakaway pro-Russian regions in Georgia -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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