Serbian musician and composer Goran Bregovic has been denied entry into Moldova due to his pro-Russian views, according to the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. Bregovic and his band were scheduled to perform at the annual Gustar Festival in Moldova, but were stopped by Moldovan Border Police at Chisinau International Airport.
The decision to ban Bregovic was made based on a “risk analysis” and information obtained from the Intelligence and Security Services, as well as input from “international partners.” These sources suggested that Bregovic’s support for Russia posed a potential threat. The ban has sparked outrage from Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which expressed concern about the impact this decision would have on the traditionally friendly relations between Serbia and Moldova.
In a government meeting, Adrian Efros, the head of Moldova’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, explained that Bregovic had been on the national list of undesirable persons since 2022 due to his alleged pro-Russian stance. Efros highlighted Bregovic’s performances in Crimea after its annexation by Russia and in Moscow during the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine as evidence of his alignment with Russia.
However, Efros also acknowledged the presence of other motives for the ban on Bregovic’s entry into Moldova, which were taken into account by the security authorities. It remains unclear whether Bregovic himself was aware of his undesirable status in Moldova, but the organizers of the Gustar Festival had been informed of the ban.
Bregovic responded to the denial of entry by expressing his disappointment with the decision of Moldovan authorities. He emphasized that he had previously performed without any difficulties throughout Europe and that this incident was an isolated case.
The ban on Bregovic is seen by some as part of Moldova’s increasing criticism of Russia under the current pro-EU leadership of Maia Sandu. Sandu’s government has cracked down on pro-Russian sentiments within the country, including the recent ban of the Sor Party. Authorities had accused the Sor Party of being a tool of “oligarchs.” Sandu has also accused Moscow of plotting to overthrow her government and destabilize the situation in Moldova, claims that Russia vehemently denies.
The ban on Goran Bregovic has further strained the already tense relations between Moldova and Serbia. It remains to be seen how this incident will impact the diplomatic ties between the two countries in the long run.