Zakharova on Chisinau-Moscow Flight Ban, “This Is Not Democracy, This Is a Dictate”

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During a briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed her opinion on banning the flights from Chisinau to Moscow by the Moldovan authorities. Zakharova took a question on how she sees such a step from the Moldovan side. “It seems to me that this step should be evaluated first of all by the citizens of this country who have business, families and jobs here. They should ask their leaders who have imposed the so-called liberal values, called for freedom and democracy, what they are doing and in whose interests they act,” Zakharova said. She recalled that Air Moldova decided to resume the Chisinau-Moscow flights on October 1, following numerous requests from citizens. “It’s not a signal from outer space, it’s a desire of people, a necessity. I remember well the year 2020, when all the world logistics were on hold because of the pandemic and lockdown. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was among those who worked to bring back citizens, including citizens of post-Soviet countries. We provided assistance to citizens of many post-Soviet states. Moldova was among those who we worked with,” Zakharova added. The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Air Moldova received permits. “On our part, the issue was not blocked, there was nothing but assistance. Yet, immediately afterwards, representatives of the Moldovan leadership condemned the idea. The Moldovan state administration banned the flights citing the lack of proper passenger safety guarantees. This is an imposition of political will, contrary to economic expediency and the true wishes of their own citizens. Where do you see freedom and democracy here? It’s a dictate. The given decision of the Moldovan authorities has primarily hit the citizens of this country. More than 220 thousand citizens of Moldova have Russian citizenship, with the Moldavian Diaspora in Russia totaling about half a million people. Does someone there in Chisinau think, remember or know about it? They do think, remember and know, but they do not want to consider, for instance, the consequences,” Zakharova said. She stressed that this decision benefited neither the people of Moldova nor the people of Russia, “it was made under far-fetched, politicized pretexts. “There is someone who is the beneficiary of this situation. Who is that? Who is lobbying for this decision? This is happening amid Chisinau’s moves to increase passenger traffic to other destinations. Do they have special security guarantees there?” Zakharova wondered. The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman is confident, “an anti-Russian agenda is being imposed to the detriment of the interests of its own citizens”. Recall that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) banned flights from Chisinau to Moscow.