Moldova Bans Sputnik Correspondent From Entering Country

© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankAirport in Kishinev, Moldova
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Moldovan authorities did not allow a Sputnik correspondent, who was going to the breakaway region of Transnistria to cover the situation there following a series of blasts, to enter the country.
On Saturday evening, Moldovan border guards examined the luggage of Artur Shaikhutdinov and took away his passport upon arrival to the Kishinev airport, saying he did not have an accreditation from the Moldovan Foreign Ministry.
"They did not give me back my passport, they sent me to wait in the transit zone. The border guard said that the passport would be given to the commander of the aircraft upon departure from Kishinev," Shaikhutdinov said.
The correspondent also said that he was taken to the plane in a separate bus from the rest of the passengers. His documents were sealed in an envelope and given to the aircraft’s crew. Shaikhutdinov has set out to Istanbul where the documents will be returned to him upon arrival.
A series of explosions hit Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, on Monday and Tuesday. The local authorities declared the highest level of terrorist threat alert.
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The Transnistrian investigative authority has initiated a criminal probe into "an act of terrorism committed by a group of people with firearms." Transnistrian President Vadim Krasnoselsky claimed that the traces of the organisers lead to Ukraine, while Moldovan President Maia Sandu insisted that the attempts to escalate the situation in the region are undertaken by violent forces within Transnistria, which intend to drag Moldova into war.
Transnistria, 60% of whose population is Russian and Ukrainian, sought to secede from Moldova even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, fearing that Moldova would integrate with Romania. In 1992, after a failed attempt by the Moldovan authorities to solve the issue by force, Transnistria became a territory not controlled by Kishinev de facto.
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