Russia Lifts Ban on Moldovan Wine, Meat to Hasten WTO Entry

Russia is lifting its ban on Moldovan wine and meat products, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday after talks with the ex-Soviet republic's president.

The move appeared to be aimed at easing Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization, which Moscow hopes to join next year.

"We agreed on the resumption of supplies of meat from Moldova, and wine," Putin said in televised comments, seated next to Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin on the sidelines of a summit of ex-Soviet republics in Belarus.

Russia banned imports of Moldovan wine earlier this year, citing quality concerns. A Moldovan official said at the time that the small, poor country would support Russia's entry of the WTO only if the wine ban was reversed and other imports of agricultural produce were allowed.