Two Romanian journalists turned back from Ukrainian border

Two motor coaches with more than 100 Romanian and Moldovan citizens on board – journalists, students, officials and NGO representatives – were kept for hours at the Reni customs house on the border between Moldova and Ukraine. Two Romanian journalists were turned back. The Romanians and Moldovans were planning to attend the dedication of the first Romanian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, in Kamasovka. 130 persons were eventually allowed to enter Ukraine and attend the event, following the intervention of the Romanian Consulate in Odessa. According to the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), quoted by Mediafax, the Consulate’s representative traveled at the Reni customs house early in the morning and offered the Romanian citizens consular assistance in fulfilling the formalities.

“According to the data offered by Romania’s General Consulate in Odessa, starting at 10 AM approximately 130 Romanian citizens, representatives of the civil society and members of the mass-media, crossed the border,” MAE points out. According to the Ministry, the religious dedication service for the Church located in Kamasovka ended without incidents.

Ukrainian authorities did not allow two Romanian journalists to enter Ukraine, invoking a previously issued interdiction. MAE is seeking to clarify the situation. The two journalists are Valentin Tigau from Radio Romania International and Simona Lazar from ‘Jurnalul National.’ The two are married. Simona Lazar stated that they were told that they are not allowed to enter Ukraine for five years’ time, the interdiction being issued in 2009. She stated that back then the two spent four days in Ukraine, working on several reports on the Romanian community there, the Romanian language in the education system and other similar issues. “We were surprised to find out we are not allowed to enter…,” Simona Lazar stated for Mediafax.

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