Some Moldovan Officials Banned from Entering Russia

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Russia has declared an employee of the Moldovan embassy in the Russian Federation persona non grata and banned a number of Moldovan officials from entering Russia. This was announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry after a meeting with the Moldovan ambassador to Moscow. As noted, on April 25, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Moldova to the Russian Federation Lilian Darii, who was given a strong protest in connection with the continued unfriendly steps of the official Chisinau in relation to Russia. Lilian Darii was handed a note from the ministry stating that, in response to the unfounded decision of the Moldovan authorities on April 19 to declare the employee of the Russian Embassy in Moldova persona non grata, the Russian side declares the employee of the Moldovan Embassy in Russia persona non grata. In addition, the head of the Moldovan diplomatic mission was informed of the decision to block the entry into the Russian Federation of some Moldovan officials for their regular anti-Russian statements, as well as for aligning Chisinau with the EU sanctions lists which target citizens of the Russian Federation. Earlier Moldova declared a Russian embassy official persona non grata after an incident when the head of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, was denied entry into the country. Russia saw Moldova’s decision to deny Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov entry into the country as “another unfriendly step aimed at undermining the close cooperation between the countries”. Rustam Minnikhanov was supposed to attend the first international congress of people’s diplomacy Friendship of Nations-2023 which was held on April 17th in Comrat and was invited by Viktor Petrov and Alexander Suhodolsky. MFAEI representatives stated that the flight was a charter flight, and the crew had been warned before their arrival in Moldova that access to our country would not be allowed. The Moldovan Border Police also commented on the incident, stating that “supporting a candidate in our country’s local elections is not a valid reason” to allow a Russian official to enter the territory of Moldova. “The statements of the Russian official, who recently returned from our country, that he was declared persona non grata in Moldova are also not true. Supporting a candidate in local elections in our country is not a valid reason, and the authorities have asked Russian officials to refrain from meddling in internal affairs of our country,” the Moldovan Border Police said in a statement.