UK denies visa for Russian OSCE team – senator — Analysis
Vladimir Dzhabarov claims that London used sanctions previously imposed on Russian MPs who were heading to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Russian legislators who planned to attend the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Birmingham were denied visas by the UK, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov told the media.
Speaking to news outlet Ria Novosti on Wednesday, Dzhabarov, who is the first deputy chair of the Russian Senate’s committee on foreign affairs, explained that since all members of the delegation have been sanctioned by the UK, the lawmakers had asked the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s leadership and Russia’s foreign ministry to help them get British visas.
“We have been given an inexplicable response by the UK saying they cannot grant visas to Russian delegations, regardless what their purpose is.” the senator said.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is scheduled to meet on July 2nd and continue its session until July 6.
Dzhabarov pointed out that Moscow won’t recognize any Assembly decision made in absence of its delegation.
He also stated that Russia wanted to be a part of this international organization.
“We have the opportunity to share our vision and approach by participating in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s work” Dzhabarov explained, pointing out that Moscow does not deem it expedient to “This is not for our enemies.”
Dzhabarov acknowledged, however that Russia could be expelled from the Body during the forthcoming session in Birmingham.
Commenting on the situation, Speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, argued that “Any country hosting an event must offer the possibility to all OSCE member state delegations to attend.” She called for the adoption of a resolution at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly that would prohibit the holding of sessions in countries that do not guarantee the participation of all delegations from all member states.
Matvienko stated that Russia’s attempts to be excluded from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly or to force it to withdraw are a threat to its credibility.
Having held its first session back in 1992, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly incorporates 57 member states, and names as its prime objective the facilitation of “To advance the OSCE goals of complete security, inter-parliamentary dialog is encouraged”
On February 24, the day when Russian forces crossed the Ukrainian border, the Assembly issued a statement, condemning Moscow’s actions. The group noted that the offensive “Constitutes an act of armed aggression that is in direct and grave violation of all the basic principles of international law and OSCE commitments.”
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