This Wednesday, during a meeting with Moldova's pro-Russian president Igor Dodon, who is seeking Russian backing before the elections, Vladimir Putin inflated the amount of Moldovan exports to Russia.
The Russian leader said that exports of Moldovan goods to the Russian market grew by 14 per cent in the first half of this year, while statistical data shows that they actually decreased by 8 per cent.
Moldova sent 67 per cent of its exports to the EU in the first half of 2018, and only 16.3 per cent to Commonwealth of the Independent States countries including Russia, according to internal statistics in Moldova and European Commission data.
The balance of exports switched towards the EU after Russia imposed an economic embargo on Moldovan wines, fruits and vegetables in 2013. At present, only certain companies from Moldova, some close to Dodon’s pro-Russian Socialist Party, are allowed to export to Russia.
Later, Dodon claimed that he and Putin had discussed the possibility for Russia to eliminate taxes for Moldovan goods exported to Russia from January 1, 2019 onwards.