MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Russia’s foreign ministry on Monday expressed concern over yet another entry denial imposed on Russian journalists by Moldova as a flagrant violation of the freedom of speech.
Earlier on Monday, Russian TV Tsentr journalists were denied entry to Moldova while passing passport control procedures at the Chisinau airport. No clear reasons were provided.
"We consider the openly discriminatory attitude of the Moldovan authorities to the Russian mass media as a flagrant violation of the fundamental freedom of speech, as a step in the deliberate campaign to clear the country’s information space off alternative information sources Chisinau has plunged into to truckle to radical circles that are interested in fanning anti-Russian sentiment," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. "In such environment, an initiative of lawmakers with a number of political parties to push through the Moldovan parliament a bill banning re-broadcasting political programmes of Russian television and radio channels in Moldova cannot but cause serious concern."
"This is by far not the first incident when Russian journalists have to go through this absolutely unjustified, unlawful procedure while entering Moldova," the ministry said. Earlier, journalists from Russia’s Rossiya Segodnya news agency, the VGTRK broadcasting company and the Zvezda television channel were denied entry to Moldova.
"We would like to note that ever growing episodes of entry denial under far-fetched pretexts to political analysts, journalists, and ordinary Russian citizens stir up wide public response in Russia. We hope Chisinau is aware of possible impacts of such actions on Russian-Moldovan relations," the ministry underscored.
In the meantime, Moldova’s border police told TASS the Russian TV Tsentr journalists had not let to enter Moldova due to the lack of accreditation. "According to our information, the Russian journalists are not on the list of unwanted persons in Moldova. They were denied entry to the country because they had no accreditation from the ministry of foreign affairs and European integration," Daniela Minzatu said.
A spokesperson for the Moldovan foreign minister told TASS the Russian journalists had not applied for accreditation.