TALLINN, November 18. /TASS/. Valery Tishkov, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who was denied entry to Estonia in October, has filed a lawsuit against the Interior Ministry of Estonia, local media sources reported Tuesday.
The necessary documents on the case have been sent to the Tallinn administrative court. It is a first precedent when a Russian citizen challenged the prohibition, administered by the Estonian Interior Ministry, in a court of law.
The 73-year-old academician, who arrived in Tallinn on October 12 at the invitation of the International Media Club Impressum, was denied entry to Estonia despite his valid Schengen visa with no reasons given. Valery Tishkov had to spend the night in a transit zone of Tallinn airport before he took a return flight to Moscow.
"I was not allowed through Passport Control at Tallinn airport. They told me I was banned from visiting Estonia in accordance with a decision made by the Estonian authorities on October 9," Tishkov told TASS shortly after the incident. He underlined that his Schengen visa was still valid. Tishkov told TASS that he had never made any sharp statements against Estonia and that the reasons why he was denied admission to Estonia were not clear to him.
Following the incident at Tallinn airport, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a statement, declaring that the prohibition administered to the Russian academician was a provocation which would not go unanswered.
"We regard the steps taken by the Estonian side as an act of provocation aimed at obstructing open and unbiased exchange of opinions between representatives of public and scientific circles of the two countries. This incident has vividly demonstrated what the demagogical statements about Estonia's adherence to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech are worth in practice," the press and information department of the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The steps taken by Tallinn will not be left unanswered and will be taken into consideration in the context of bilateral relations," it said.
Valery Tishkov is a prominent international figure in science: he is the Vice-president of the International Union of Anthropologic and Ethnologic Sciences and President of the International Academy of Pedagogical and Social Sciences. Tishkov is also a member of a governmental commission for the affairs of compatriots abroad and a member of the Russian Commission for UNESCO affairs.