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Moldova declares Russian deputy premier persona non grata

August 2, 2017
FILE - In this April 5, 2016 file photo, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin attends a meeting of a committee on preparations for Victory Day, which Russia celebrates on May 9, in the Kremlin in Moscow. Moldova declared Rogozin persona non grata on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, following remarks he made after an aborted visit to the ex-Soviet republic. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool File)
FILE - In this April 5, 2016 file photo, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin attends a meeting of a committee on preparations for Victory Day, which Russia celebrates on May 9, in the Kremlin in Moscow. Moldova declared Rogozin persona non grata on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, following remarks he made after an aborted visit to the ex-Soviet republic. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool File)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Moldova has declared a Russian deputy prime minister persona non grata, following remarks he made after an aborted visit to the ex-Soviet republic.

Wednesday’s statement from Moldova’s Foreign Ministry came after Dmitry Rogozin abandoned a trip to the country Friday after his plane was barred from entering Romanian and Hungarian airspace. Both countries are EU members.

Rogozin is one of the most senior Russian officials to be slapped with an EU visa ban in 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Rogozin later told Rossiya 24 TV station that Russia would adopt “special sanctions” against Moldovan and other officials who had obstructed his visit.

The ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Farit Muhametshin on Wednesday and said “Moldova wants to build with Russia bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect.”

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