Russia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said it was expelling a Moldovan diplomat in what it cast as retaliation for the expulsion last week of a Russian diplomat in Moldova.
The ministry said in a statement it had summoned Moldova's ambassador in Moscow to announce the expulsion, as well as to protest against what it called "unfriendly steps towards Russia" and "regular anti-Russian statements" from Chisinau.
Moldova said last week it was expelling a Russian diplomat. A government spokesman linked that expulsion to actions of embassy staff towards Moldovan border guards who had denied entry to a regional Russian politician at Chisinau airport.
Moldovan police said that Tatarstan governor Rustam Minnikhanov had wanted to visit Moldova to boost support for a pro-Russian candidate in a regional election.
Moldova, which applied to join the European Union last year alongside its neighbor Ukraine, has repeatedly accused Russia of trying to destabilize the country, something Moscow denies.