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MOSCOW, April 9 /TASS/. A shooting crew of Russia’s Zvezda TV channel was detained at passport control at Chisinu airport on Thursday. The airport guards stopped the journalists, including Zvezda’s correspondent Alexey Golovko, after learning that they were heading for Moldova’s unrecognized Transniestria Republic, Zvezda reported on its website.
"We were supposed to arrive in Moldova today and go to Tiraspol by car straight from Chisinau airport. We were supposed to shoot a film about the foreign economic situation of Moldova’s Transniestria Republic, which, as you may know, is unrecognized and which has been living in a blockade ever since a war broke out in Ukraine. But we failed to reach Tiraspol," Golovko said by telephone.
The airport guards asked the journalists to leave the queue for passport control and took them to a separate room after learning that they were from the Zvezda TV channel. Then they asked them about the itinerary and the purpose of their trip and took away their passports. They returned the passports 30 minutes later and told the journalists that the Moldovan Interior Ministry had banned them from entering the country, the TV channel wrote on its website.
"Now I am holding a paper which is called ‘Refusal for entering the Republic of Moldova" in which point E is underlined: it says that we do not have appropriate documents to confirm the purpose of our visit. In short, we do not have accreditation," Golovko explained.
The crew had all the necessary documents and accreditation just as the permission to take interviews and shoot in regions bordering Ukraine, the Zvezda channel said adding that the crew was waiting for a flight to Moscow at the Chisinau airport’s transit zone.