Moldovan authorities have stopped Russia’s deputy prime minister from leaving the country with a petition calling on Moscow to recognise a separatist region.
The foreign ministry said authorities confiscated boxes of signatures from Dmitry Rogozin at Chisinau airport last night and would analyse the material.
Mr Rogozin visited the separatist province of Trans-Dniester, where 1,500 Russian troops are stationed, to celebrate Victory Day on Friday. He offered support to separatists and criticised Moldova’s government for seeking closer ties with the European Union.
Trans-Dniester broke away from Moldova in 1990 and is not internationally recognised, but is supported by Russia.
Romania protested at the comments by Mr Rogozin saying he would travel on a bomber plane next time after he was denied passage through Romanian airspace while travelling back to Moscow.