Romania to Demand Answers for Russia Travel Bans

Romanian Foreign Ministry, MAE, on Saturday said it will ask for official explanations from Russia's entry ban against the five Romanians, including politicians, a businessman and a military leader.

"We can confirm the existence of a list of five Romanians barred from Russia, but not the names of those persons. First of all, we wait for official explanations from Moscow," MAE announced in a press release.

According to media reports, Romania's list includes Iulian Chifu, a former adviser of former president Traian Basescu; Eugen Tomac, the opposition Popular Movement Party leader; historian Adrian Cioroianu, a former Foreign Affairs Minister; Gheorghe Hategan, deputy general manager of the state-owned gas company Transgaz; and Liviu Chondon, a Romanian Navy commander.

Some of those on the list are outspoken critics of the Kremlin.

The five Romanians are among 89 Europeans banned by Russia from entering the country.
A Russian foreign ministry official would not confirm the names of those barred, but said that the ban was a response to EU sanctions against Russia.

The EU imposed sanctions after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014. The sanctions have been extended amid ongoing fighting between government troops and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Unlike some other countries in the region, Romania has given full backing to Western sanctions imposed on Russia. Romania is one of NATO's strongest supporters among the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Romanians view Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and its support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine with concern, fearing that Russia might try something similar with the breakaway Russian-speaking enclave of Transnistria in...

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