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28 July 2017

Moscow. July 28, 2017. INTERFAX.RU. A delegation representing the House of Romanoff was refused entry into Moldova and forced to return to Moscow, according to the Director of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander Zakatov.

“We have returned to Moscow.  They still haven’t given us our passports back.  The Moldovans tell us that the passports are being held by the air-crew,” Zakatov told INTERFAX.

The Director of the Chancellery told INTERFAX on Thursday evening that the delegation, which also included Alexander Kravchenko, an advisor to the Chancellery for philanthropic affairs, and Hieromonk Nikon (Levachev-Belavenets), an advisor for the Imperial House’s historical and memorial activities, were denied entry at the Chişenǎu airport. 

According to Zakatov, the delegation was to visit a number of historic and religious sites, and to meet with Archbishop Savva of Tiraspol and Dubossary, and to convey a gift to the Metropolitan of Chişenǎu and all Moldova.

“We did not go to Moldova for any political reasons, nor would we in any way want to violate the local laws,” Zakatov said.

He added that the members of the delegation surrendered their passports with the promise from Moldovan authorities that they would be returned in 15 minutes.  Instead, the delegation waited at the airport for more than 3 hours without their documents before being expelled. 

Earlier, a group of Russian artists, who had traveled to Moldova for ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the Russian peacekeeping operation in Transnistria, were also detained at the Chişenǎu airport.  The border police issued a statement that they were still checking their documents and did not rule out that they, too, would be denied entry into the country.

Also on Thursday a member of the Russian State Duma from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Pavel Shperov, was also detained at the airport.  Despite the fact that he was holding a diplomatic passport, he was sent back to Russia on the next available flight out of Chişenǎu.  Shperov, like the Russian artists, were en route to Tiraspol for the commemorations of the Russian peacekeeping mission, which are planned for this weekend.

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