Russian Journalists Denied Entry Into Moldova

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

22nd January, 2016


The Moldovan authorities on Friday without explanation denied entry into the country a correspondent of RIA Novosti Timur Kursantov and a representative of Czech radio.

“Instruction from management”, — the guards said when explaining their actions at Chisinau airport. Other details from border guards nor representatives of the security service were not given.

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Together with the correspondent of RIA Novosti, a freelance operator of a French Agency AFP has not been admitted into the country also. An hour earlier a representative of Czech radio landed on a return flight, although he complained loudly and demanded contact with the Embassy.

Expulsion of journalists organized in Moldova were a stream. Special attention was paid to the passengers of the Moscow flights. After the arrival of each of them at passport control, security personnel, stood next to the guards, were present to carefully seek out “suspicious persons”.

On Thursday, representatives of three television channels had been denied entry into Moldova. A VGTRK journalist, Alexander Balitsky, was denied entry to Moldova for five years. The intelligence agencies did not explain their actions, revealing only that the correspondent was on the “black list”. Crew of TV channel Life News, who went to cover the protests in Chisinau, were unable to step outside of Chisinau airport and were deported by the local authorities. A Journalist of REN TV, Alexander Malyshev, was also not able to leave. Earlier a spokesman for the border police, Dorin Chebotar, had informed RIA Novosti that several Russian journalists were not allowed into Moldova, as they had not indicated the purpose of visiting the Republic.

The official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that the refusal of entry of Russian journalists into Moldova is in violation of international law.

Press Secretary of the Russian President , Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the refusal of entry to Moldova  of three Russian TV channels, said that the Kremlin had evaluated it extremely negatively, any restriction to freedom of expression is unacceptable. He noted that there would be a development in the scenario for the Russian media in Ukraine, this is unacceptable.

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