The Euobserver pays attention to the new political Russian ban on Moldovan wine sales.
This new ban shows the EU's new "partner for modernisation" in a distinctly less-than-modern light. "The European Union and Russia, as long-standing strategic partners in a changing multipolar world, are committed to working together to address common challenges with a balanced and result-oriented approach, based on democracy and the rule of law, both at the national and international level," Brussels and Moscow said in a joint communique in June on their new "Partnership for Modernisation."
"Moldovan wine should be used to paint fences ... It should not be consumed not just in Russia but also nowhere else as the product is not interesting," Russian food safety chief Gennady Onishchenko said on national radio on 6 July.
The quotes show the contrast between EU-Russia diplomatic speak on President Dmitry Medvedev's reform ambitions and Russia's less progressive tone when dealing with its old, Soviet-era vassals.
Russia in the past two weeks impounded 170,000 bottles of Molodvan wine at a customs point in Moscow, with Mr Onishchenko's remarks seeing Moldovan exporters turn back other trucks heading over the border.
Moldova's new government and the EU considers that the restrictions are politically motivated.
The theory goes that the wine ban is revenge for a Moldovan declaration calling on Russian soldiers to get out of Moldova and declaring the theritoriy of actual Republic of Moldova was ocupied by force by the Soviet Union in 1940 as a result of Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact Russion Leadership, Medvedev-Putin is acctually identifying with the crimes of the Soviet Union….
It si becouse Medvedev-Putin apply the same policy today with the ex-soviet vasal countries!
Also, the Russian ban designed to harm the pro-EU camp of Prime Minister Vlad Filat as it heads into November elections against the pro-Russian Communist party.
"It's an attempt to play domestic politics, showing what can happen if we go against Russia," a Moldovan official said.
Moldova currently exports 15 percent of its wine to the EU, which has not voiced any health concerns despite having some of the toughest phytosanitary standards in the world.
Meanwhile, Mr Onishchenko spelled out that when Russia last banned Moldovan wine back in 2006, the then Communist government was able to restore trade, but that Mr Filat's side is "incompetent" in handling the current problem.
EU sources noted the wine dispute is the latest in a series of Russian attempts to strongarm post-Iron Curtain neighbours, listing: the Belarus gas and milk wars, the Ukraine gas wars, the Georgia trade blockades, the Lithuania oil row and the Polish meat war.
The EU could in theory increase its quota for Moldovan wine imports to give the country, the poorest in Europe and ravaged by summer floods, some relief. It could also issue a statement saying Russia, as a WTO aspirant, should abide by international trade norms,the EuObeservesr says.