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Interview with the General Director of the Romanesti cellar, Constantin Sîrghi

In an interview with Valentina Ursu , the general director of the winery Romanesti, Constantin Sîrghi , expressed his conviction that Moldovan winemakers must continue fighting for the Eastern market , but the state also must take responsibility for political decisions and set very clear the  economical priorities .

Europa Liberă: Mr. Director here we are in Romania. You succeeded in showing us what you produce and of what you produce . Why do you think there are compelling arguments from the Moldovan side for the Russian partners when it comes the discussion about the  exports to Russian market?

Constantin Sîrghi: "We are in this report, let’s say, difficult with the Russian since 2005. No matter what stages we have past since 2005, whether we have past the testings from Rospotrebnadzor experts, we have realized some projects in our Republic, that they blamed us to be missing. I reffer to the National Center of the Qualitaty of Vine and Wine which is one of the best unit in the eastern area, but I think even in Europe. We have re-equipped a lot of the technical potential of Moldovan wineries, not to mention that we have, as you've already convinced yourself, and at Romanesti we have 100 percent  renovated vineyards. And over the course of four years we only produce wines from grapes from our plantations. There is that transparency and traceability that is spoken about not only in Russia, but it is spoken all over the world and it is very easy today to check the provenance of the products and even the quality that we can schedule. All these arguments that I have listed, by far are not the only ones, I am about the fact that these measures are taken by the Russian part regarding the production from Moldova and it is already confirmed that it reffers not only to grapes and grape wine but also to other products, in particularly those 19 limited positions in export to Russia show that we need to look about the essence of the question somewhere else. And of course the problem is caused by other reasons. "

Europa Liberă: Political?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Strikes everyone when we categorical express ourselves in this way."

Europa Liberă:  But in what way should you express yourself?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "I was in this position and remain on it that any market, Russian, Chinese or American , it deserves our entire  attention and have to be always prepared to be present on these markets. Something else is that in the relations between countries at different stages there appear different situations of tension and this is absolutely not determined by the political color of the government today or tomorrow in Chisinau. It is determined by some politics, in my view , strategies that today directs with the world and we should not impose ourselves , Moldova, that here it, is we can identify or categorize some things that the whole world tries to understand , to find the essence , but we can very easy catalog. "

Europa Liberă: Well , Moldova is on the board of geostrategic , geopolitical interests between Moscow and Washington , Moscow and Brussels. This is what you mean?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Undoubtedly. And not only Moldova , but all 161 countries members of the United Nations , are all pieces on the chessboard . And in what measure Moldova could decide , at least, not real, a combination on this chessboard , say, at logistics level  and who will listen to us and who will hear us , here is our problem . Another thing is how logical we make these statements, how timely we expose them and how professional and convincing we are to expose these things."

Europa Liberă: What kind of made statements in Chisinau bothers Kremlin?

Constantin Sîrghi: "I can not speak from the Kremlin’s name , I can speak in the name of the House of Wines from Romanesti and say what strategy we have."

Europa Liberă: Can you be persuasive for your Russian partners : leave politics aside and take the production that you took to a Russian customer for years and had no pretensions to it?

Constantin Sîrghi: "For our colleagues , yes. And we are convincing. But as our colleagues are not simple economical agents , as we are , today they are not heard in Russia with their arguments , as we are not often heard in Chisinau by our governors."

Europa Liberă: What did you tell to those from the government and have not heard you?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "For example, we fought a lot, and the role of the ministry and  even the role of the Prime Minister was to obtain from European sources that fund to support the wine of 75 million euro , with the program " Branch wine” and and so on , and eventually this money was not used . We, for example , one of the largest wine producers , ranked on the second and third place for the exports, and at achievements , we could not use those funds."

Europa Liberă: You didn’t have access to those funds?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Of course I had no access. Why? I can clarify a lot."

Europa Liberă: Eye color ?

Constantin Sîrghi: "Starting with the color of the banks in which we are served, then the existing mechanisms."

Europa Liberă: Mr. Director Sîrghi here we have two glasses on the table. We pour from one glass to another and you can honestly tell us that production from Romanesti is of quality?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Definitely . Already in the last six years on each label on each bottle that leaves from Romanesti has the inscription " Quality is ensured by Professor Constantin Sîrghi."

Europa Liberă: This is your guarantee?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "And my personal signature."

Europa Liberă: How do you see the way out?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Everyone together, should understand that if started to go on one way, if there is no backtrack it means that we must go further, and share all the hard things proportionally among all. Since some sectors , talk about the banking sector in particular, continue to have huge incomes, and we need to get into new loans to pay off old loans , excuse , please, it means we do not understand something, it is possible and something like this because the country has primary higher order questions. But then we must say openly: " Folks, we do not need today the plantations , we do not need so much wine, let us move on, do something else". Government must take responsibility. And I saw , when there are times where the Government believes there should intervene with direct responsibility, recent events have shown that this was done."   

Europa Liberă: Assuming political responsibility in front of the Parliament ...

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Of course . Why not? It should be assumed then regarding the financial policies also . But if not this, probably it means that we still do not understand something. But I am afraid that until we will understand we might disappear ... "

Europa Liberă: The train leaves the station... Where do you export today the products ? Have you evaluated the losses from the loss of the Russian market ?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "The biggest loss will be when we will not have these plantations , we will not have the peasants . I can afford to say that our society is part of a holding company, where we had over 1,200 employees ... "

Europa Liberă: Where is now the marketplace for products from Romanesti?

Constantin Sîrghi:  The market place is very limited. We have reduced almost 10 times our production , we have a lot of items in stock , our assets are of 90 million lei. The markets still remain the traditional ones - Belarus , Kazakhstan, Poland , Ukraine , a little in Germany , China and little in United States, little France and Belgium."

Europa Liberă:  Have you earned at least at commercialization ? Does a bottle of wine from Romanesti cost more than it was sold before?

Constantin Sîrghi:  The average price of a bottle of made wine ​​it obviously increased."

Europa Liberă: Today , on average, a bottle of wine how much  would it cost?

Constantin Sîrghi:  From 90 cents to one euro. But I want to say something else. We conducted a trade house in Russia who continues to work and not importing from Moldova, we import from France and Italy that come with 70 cents. What have I gained? What have I missed ? Where? Does it worth fighting for those markets? It worths it if European colleagues struggle to them and expose such a wine.

Europa Liberă: And the fight is likely to be gained?

Constantin Sîrghi:  "Undoubtedly , I remain optimistic."

Source :Europa Liberă