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Moscow surprised over human rights commissioner’s decision to cancel trip to Russia

October 12, 2016, 12:26 UTC+3

Nils Muiznieks cancelled the trip due to "unacceptable restrictions" that Russia wanted to impose on his programme that would be cut "to approximately 48 hours... with only one full working day"

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Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© Gennadiy Khamelyanin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Moscow is surprised with the statement of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks on cancelling his visit to Russia, as no final agreement on the visit has been reached yet, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"We were surprised to learn that the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Muiznieks ‘cancelled’ his visit to the Russian Federation," the ministry said. "We believe only a visit coordinated by the both sides can be cancelled, while in this case no agreement was reached, the aspects of the commissioner’s possible visit to Russia were under consideration."

"Nevertheless, we are ready to continue the consultations with the commissioner on his possible visit to our country in the future, provided that he adopts a non-politicized and impartial approach while fulfilling his mandate," the ministry added.

As Muiznieks explained, he took this decision because he did not agree with a number of "restrictions" to the program of the visit which was scheduled for the third week of October.

"It is with deep regret that I have to announce that this visit will not take place because of the unacceptable restrictions that the Russian authorities wanted to impose on my programme," Muiznieks said in a statement adding that the visit was restricted "to approximately 48 hours... with only one full working day."

He added that it "would have not allowed sufficient time to carry out a substantive country visit."

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