The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has banned entry into the country of 20 citizens of Moldova, including 18 deputies of the ruling Action and Solidarity party, the Moldovan service of Radio Liberty reports.
In addition to parliamentarians, the head of the Association of Independent Press Petr Makovey and the deputy head of the Border Police Oleg Buketar were banned from entering Russia, as the publication clarifies.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation confirmed the introduction of a ban on the entry of these citizens of Moldova. The agency told the Ambassador of Moldova to the Russian Federation Lilian Darius about this, emphasizing that this step was taken “in connection with the unjustified decision of the official Chisinau to radically reduce the number of employees of Russian foreign missions” in Moldova.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also noted that “this unfriendly step leads to further destruction of Russian-Moldovan relations, which are already in a deep crisis due to the actions of the Moldovan side.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) of Moldova said it “regrets” such actions by Moscow, but stressed that “Moldova remains firmly committed to oppose destabilizing actions.”
Earlier, the Moldovan authorities expelled 45 Russian diplomats and employees of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau from the country. The reason for their expulsion was the suspicion of espionage, which the MFAEI started talking about after the release of an investigation on agents and listening devices on the territory of the Russian diplomatic department in Chisinau on The Insider website. At present, 10 diplomats and 15 technical staff remain in the Russian diplomatic mission.
What can the antennas do, because of which Moldova expelled 45 employees of the Russian embassy, the author of the journalistic investigation explained:
In turn, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that the Russian authorities regard Moldova’s initiative to expel diplomats as “unreasonable and unfriendly actions that will not go unanswered.” She also refuted the information presented in The Insider’s investigation, calling it a “stuffing” for “injecting anti-Russian hysteria for new unfriendly actions of the Moldovan leadership towards our country.”
In addition to the expulsion of Russian diplomats, the Information and Security Service (ISS) of Moldova terminated the partnership agreement with the FSB, and also began the process of denouncing the agreement with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. The department called the reason for this decision “the inconsistency of the provisions of these agreements with the national interests and security of the Republic of Moldova.”