Moldova stops deputy Russian PM from taking petition to Moscow calling for Russian recognition

Moldovan authorities say they have stopped Russia's deputy prime minister from leaving the country with a petition calling on Moscow to recognize a separatist region.

The foreign ministry said late Saturday that authorities confiscated boxes of signatures from Dmitry Rogozin at Chisinau airport and would analyze the material.

Rogozin visited the separatist province of Trans-Dniester, where 1,500 Russian troops are stationed, to celebrate Victory Day on Friday. He offered support to separatists and criticized Moldova's government for seeking closer ties with the European Union.

Trans-Dniester broke away from Moldova in 1990 and is not internationally recognized, but is supported by Russia.

Romania protested comments by Rogozin saying he would travel on a bomber plane next time after he was denied passage through Romanian airspace Saturday while traveling back to Moscow.