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Russia has refused to allow a group of Moldovan officials, including lawmakers, into its territory in response to the blockade of Russian media from Chisinau.
A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moldovan Ambassador Lilian Darieu had been summoned to the ministry to be informed of the decision.
“A firm protest was presented to the Moldovan side regarding the ongoing politically motivated persecution of Russian media in Moldova, including the blocking of access to their websites,” the ministry said in a statement.
It also said the ambassador had been told Moscow was taking an “asymmetric measure” to deny entry to a number of Moldovan officials, but gave no further details.
The spokesman of the Moldovan Foreign Ministry, Igor Zakharov, told “Moldova-1” television that the government protects its media from interference, regardless of Moscow’s actions.
“We are committed to continuing to protect our information space from any external interference and stand firm against disinformation, hybrid attacks and attempts to destabilize the situation in Moldova,” Zakharov said.
And Moldova blocked access to dozens of Russian media websites, including RT
Moldovan news channel newsmaker.md reported that the Russian list included 11 parliamentarians – all members of Sandu’s pro-European Action and Solidarity Party.
Ahead of the election, Moldova suspended the licenses and banned access to 30 media sites – some based in Russia, others in Moldova – on grounds of spreading disinformation.
Sandu condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and accused Moscow of trying to oust it in a coup. Russia denies the accusations and claims that Sandu is instilling an anti-Russian atmosphere in the country.
The European Commission recommended starting membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova in the EU, Skopje is waiting
In early October, the European Commission announced it was proposing to start negotiations for Moldova’s EU membership after Chisinau was invited to become a candidate in June 2022, just months after it applied. The issue of negotiations with Moldova will be discussed by European leaders in mid-December.