Russian officials warned that banning the public display of symbols of the invasion of Ukraine «will be painful» for Moldova, causing Chisinau to summon Moscow’s ambassador.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova in Moscow in March 2018. Photo: EPA-EFE/Maxim Shipenkov
Moldova’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration summoned the Russian ambassador, Oleg Vasnetsov, on Thursday after Moldova received a series of threats from Moscow officials following its decision to ban Russian symbols of the invasion in Ukraine.
“We summoned the Russian ambassador to Chisinau. We will pass him our message,” the Moldovan Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Daniel Voda, told BIRN.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry stated on Wednesday night that Russia has been engaged in unacceptable rhetoric against the president of Moldova, Maia Sandu.
Chisinau’s reaction came after Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova called the adoption theaw banning Russian war symbols in Moldova “a real betrayal” and threatened Moldovan President Maia Sandu.
“Anyone who allows himself to make such statements about a symbol for which people have given their lives so that others can live, I assure you, will themselves go to the dump of history,” said Zakharova.
She also warned that the decision to impose the ban “will be painful” for Moldova.
Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov has also threatened that Moldova will end up in the “dump of history” for banning Russian symbols.
Sandu on Tuesday promulgated a law banning the public display of the orange-and-black ‘ribbon of St. George’ and other symbols used by Russian forces during the invasion of Ukraine.
“The symbols we are criminalising are not symbols of the war of 77 years ago [World War II]. On the contrary, these refer to today’s war in Ukraine,” Sandu said.
The law makes it possible for the ban to take effect before May 9, which Russia marks as Victory Day over Nazi Germany in WWII. It is also celebrated in Chisinau by pro-Russian politicians and opponents of European integration.
Pro-Russian politicians have called on their supporters to participate in a victory march wearing the ribbon of St. George in defiance of the legal change.
Justice Minister Sergiu Litvinenco warned however that the authorities will take measures to enforce the law.
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