Vitaliy Denisov, the head of Sputnik Moldova, was deported from the Republic of Moldova yesterday, accompanied by a ten-year ban on re-entering the country. This announcement was made public earlier in the day.
Yesterday morning, officers from the Migration Service of the Republic of Moldova arrived at Denisov’s residence, where they placed him in a vehicle and escorted him to the airport under a deportation order. The news of his ban was revealed earlier in the day by the editorial team of Sputnik Moldova. Denisov’s sudden expulsion created some difficulties as he was not given the opportunity to pack his belongings or take his pets with him, as reported by the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Chisinau, Oleg Vasnetsov, who was promptly informed of the situation.
Dmitry Kiselev, the General Director of the media group “Rossiya Segodnya,” (Russia Today) expressed his concerns about the expulsion, emphasizing that Denisov had all the necessary work permits to be in Moldova. Kiselev’s statement highlighted that “the Moldovan authorities’ destructive policy exceeds all bounds in Russia-Moldova relations,” as conveyed by Sputnik Moldova’s editorial team.
According to the Bureau of Migration and Asylum in Moldova, the action was deemed necessary because Vitaliy Denisov was involved in the internal affairs of the Republic of Moldova, posing a threat to the country’s informational security.
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Russia has issued a protest note to the Republic of Moldova following the expulsion of Vitaliy Denisov, the head of the “Sputnik Moldova” news portal, who had previously been banned by the Security and Information Service (SIS) for incitement to hatred and war. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow has described the decision of the authorities in Chișinău as “unfounded and provocative.”
The protest note was delivered to the Charge d’Affaires ad-interim of the Moldovan Embassy in Moscow, Sergiu Goncherenco.
“On September 13, the Charge d’Affaires of the Republic of Moldova in the Russian Federation, Sergiu Goncherenco, was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where a strong protest was expressed regarding the unfounded and provocative decision of the Moldovan authorities to expel the head of the Sputnik Moldova news agency, V.A. Denisov,” stated the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their communication.
Furthermore, Russian authorities have mentioned that Chișinău’s decision “will not go unanswered by Russia.”
This unexpected event has strained diplomatic relations between Moldova and Russia, which have faced various complications in recent years.
Sputnik Moldova was banned from the Republic of Moldova in February 2022 due to its promotion of Russian interests on Moldovan territory during a state of emergency related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.