28 July 2017

July 28, 2017. Sputnik. Exclusive: The Director of the Chancellery of the House of Romanoff on his being denied entry into Moldova

Entry Denied:  Why was a delegation of the Chancellery of the Head of the Imperial House of Romanoff denied entry into Moldova, and what was the gift for Metropolitan Vladimir that authorities would not permit?  An exclusive report for Sputnik Moldova.

Chişenǎu, July 28, 2017.  Sputnik.  A delegation from the Chancellery of the House of Romanoff was denied entry into Moldova.  The border police explained the action by claiming that the representatives of the House of Romanoff had failed to explain adequately the purpose of their visit.

On Thursday, a group of Russian citizens, including the artists Dmitrii Dunaev, Lyaisan Mingazova, Lidiya Muzaleva, Irina Malsova, and the Hero of the Soviet Union Vladimir Gasoyan, who had flown to Chişenǎu en route to Transnistria on a philanthropic mission, were turned away at the airport.  The press service of the Moldovan border police stated that entry was denied because the visitors had not fully explained the purpose of their visit.

Sputnik Moldova contacted the Director of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House, Alexander Zakatov, for his comments.


According to Zakatov, along with the delegation from the Russian Imperial House, there also arrived a group with the famous composer and Distinguished Artist of Russia Dmitrii Dunaev, and also the political scientist Bogdan Bespalko.

“We each came for different reasons, but we were all held together in one location.  Upon arrival we were detained and searched,” Zakatov said.

While they found nothing illegal in their possessions, in their travel plans, or in the statements they made to the police during their detainment, the authorities nonetheless denied them entry into the Republic of Moldova,

“We were told that we hadn’t sufficiently explained the purpose of our visit, which is utterly false.  We told them that our purpose was to visit historic and religious sites in Moldova and to help develop and expand the Imperial House’s charitable activities in the republic,” Zakatov explained.


The Director of the Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia noted that, when the authorities asked the members of the delegation if they knew that this was the 25th anniversary of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Transnistria, they replied that they did know that.

“We see nothing illegal in participating in these commemorative events, and doing so was certainly part of our purpose in coming.  But our main goal was to further our charitable activities, activities that we have been engaged in for many years,” explained Zakatov.

These points were not taken into account by authorities, according to Zakatov.

“We were detained for five hours then sent back to Moscow.  From out point of view, these were illegal and unreasonable actions.  We violated no laws, we are not personae non gratae, and so there was no reason to deny us entry into the country,” Zakatov said.


As Zakatov pointed out, a delegation from the Chancellery has made yearly trips to Moldova since 2008. 

“We wanted to extend our congratulation to Metropolitan Vladimir on his name day, but were informed that he had to go to St. Petersburg for a meeting of the Holy Synod.  I had brought him a gift—copies of my books on the history of the Church, which I hoped to convey to him through a representative from the diocese, whom we were supposed to meet in Chişenǎu.  But we never got the chance to meet and present the books,” Zakatov added.


The Director of the Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia explained that the members of the delegation planned to meet with Archbishop Savva of Tiraspol and Dubossary, and to attend church services on Sunday and on the feast day of St. Vladimir.  They also planned to go to the Bendery Fortress and pay tribute to the memory of the soldiers who in the 18th century had defended their common homeland from foreign invasions. 

“We planned, of course, also to meet with the leaders of Transnistria in order to discuss a number of cultural and educational projects but—and I want to stress this—not political matters.  Meetings like these are something we have done before many times.  We have never made any political statements of any kind in the 10 years of our working together with partners in Transnistria, nor have we ever violated any of the local laws in all that time,” Zakatov said.

According to Zakatov, “The main purpose of our visit was to develop further the activities of the Imperial House in the cultural, religious, social, and humanitarian spheres.”


Alexander Zakatov hastened to point out that responsibility for this incident of course does not carry over the Moldovan people.

“Of course, we consider this an unfriendly act not only toward us, but toward Russia.  But this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Moldovan people,” Zakatov said.

In Zakatov’s opinion, “the fact that some authorities in the Moldovan government allow this sort of behavior and action casts a very bad light on Moldova internationally, because nowhere in the world is such behavior condoned.”

“We know that the President of Moldova has expressed his regret over this episode, and we are grateful for his public statement about these events,” Zakatov said.

Vice-Premier Dmitrii Rogozin was sardonic and succinct in his response:

“What a mob of troublemakers this was!” the Vice-Premier wrote on social media.  “Well, what else can you call them?  How scary these artists must be!  Such a threat they must pose to the integration of Moldova into Europe!  What a truly ugly episode.  Shameful!”

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