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Moldova Turns Away Russians On Eve Of Election


http://gdb.rferl.org/6A02EE0F-ADBB-4242-8319-B3A544551376_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/6A02EE0F-ADBB-4242-8319-B3A544551376_mw800_mh600.jpg President Vladimir Voronin has accused Moscow of trying to influence the elections (file photo) 5 March 2004 -- Moldovan authorities today barred some 100 Russians from entering the country on the eve of a parliamentary election.

Moldovan authorities accused the Russians of aiming to disrupt Sunday's voting. The Russians said they are election observers.

The group was stopped at the border while traveling to Moldova by train. They are expected to be sent back to Russia in the coming hours.

The Russian embassy in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, demanded an explanation and sent two staff members to the station to meet with the Russian group.

Reports said a Belarusian group was also forced to leave Moldova late yesterday, the same day they arrived by train. Tomorrow, Moldovans choose deputies for its parliament, which will then elect a president.

Chisinau accuses Russia, which tacitly supports separatists in Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region, of trying to destabilize the situation ahead of the vote.

(ITAR-TASS/AFP/AP)
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