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Russian deputy PM ready to visit Moldova to continue talks

August 02, 11:07 UTC+3

Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin’s visit to Moldova, scheduled to take place on July 28, was disrupted because Romania had refused to allow his plane to cross the country’s airspace

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MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said he had accepted Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Minister Octavian Calmic’s invitation to visit the country in September but he needed security guarantees, as well as a guarantee that his plane would be given permission to cross the air space of all transit countries.

"I have received an invitation from Mr. Octavian Calmic, it came just recently, only a couple of weeks ago, he invites me to visit Chisinau this autumn," Rogozin said in an interview with the Moldovan NTV TV channel. "I was glad to receive the invitation but what does Mr. Calmic mean? It is hard to say how he will ensure the security of the Russian delegation and wipe the nose of their Romanian patron. However, these questions are not for us to answer," the Russian deputy prime minister added. According to Rogozin, the invitation has been accepted. "I am ready to go there, but on certain conditions. I repeat once again, for me to visit Moldova, it is not enough for the plane to take off, it should also have a chance to land," he added.

The Russian deputy prime minister also said he was interested in continuing his activities on the ground, both in Tiraspol and Chisinau. However, he said that he demanded all interested parties to provide solid guarantees so that Russian-Moldovan relations could be put on the improvement track. "First, these guarantees should be provided by all the countries that would ensure the plane’s flight," Rogozin explained. "Second, the guarantees should stipulate that no incidents will affect the lives and health of people who will accompany me, otherwise there is no point in going there. In this case, they [Moldova’s representatives - TASS] will have to visit Moscow," he said.

The senior Russian official stressed that Moldova just could not "take scissors and a map of Europe and cut a piece, leaving the European Union completely for itself." He pointed out that he co-chaired the intergovernmental commission so it was him the Moldovan authorities would have to hold talks with, whether they liked it or not. "Russia’s authorities have no plans to change my status, on the contrary, they will insist that I act as a negotiator with Moldova and Transnistria," Rogozin noted. "So sooner or later they [Moldova’s authorities - TASS] will have to make a decision how to restore what they thoughtlessly destroyed," he added.

Tehran meeting

The Russian deputy prime minister went on to say that on August 5, during a visit to Iran, he planned to meet with Moldovan President Igor Dodon. "Indeed, I plan to hold a conversation with Dodon," Rogozin said. "The [Russian] president has decided that I will represent Russia at the inauguration of the newly-elected president of Iran, and Igor Nikolayevich [Dodon] will also be there, so we will hold a meeting in Tehran," he said.

According to him, the parties will, first and foremost, discuss economic issues, but taking into consideration the recent events, they will also have to touch upon security issues and ways to maintain peace in the Dniester River area. Rogozin added that the expected the conversation to be substantive. "I want to understand what the head of Moldova thinks of the recent developments," the Russian deputy prime minister said.

According to earlier reports, Rogozin’s visit to Moldova, scheduled to take place on July 28, was disrupted because Romania had refused to allow his plane to cross the country’s airspace. According to the S7 aircraft company, its regular flight from Moscow to Chisinau was banned from entering Romania’s airspace by the air-traffic service under the pretext of a "sanctioned person" on board. The plane eventually landed in the Belarusian capital of Minsk from where the Russian deputy prime minster took an Aeroflot flight to Moscow.

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