The Bully Files: Russia Bans Moldovan Wine

Since September, Russia has continued to stand behind a ban on the import of wine from Moldova, claiming that traces of plastic were found in the country’s product. However, to many onlookers, the health claim seems illegitimate. The Economist reports that this is just one of many tactics aimed at pressuring the former Soviet republic not to sign agreements with the European Union which would require political reform and free trade (a thorn in Russia’s giant side). It looks like Russians—“who got a taste for Moldovan wine during Communist times”—will have to fill their glasses with wine from elsewhere. Moldova is refusing to bend to Mother Russia’s bullying in favor of a path to integration with the EU. [The Economist]