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MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. Denying Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin entry to Finland is an "outrageous and unacceptable" step, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.
"We definitely consider this outrageous," Peskov said. The spokesman reminded that Naryshkin was going to attend an international event in Finland and not to discuss bilateral relations. "That is why, of course, we consider denying entry [to Naryshkin] unacceptable," he noted. However, only Russian Foreign Ministry can provide an accurate assessment of the incident, Peskov added.
Finland’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vesa Hakkinen told TASS earlier on Wednesday that Finland has denied entry to Naryshkin to participate in July’s session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE). Such decision was made because Naryshkin is included in EU’s sanctions list, Hakkinen said.
The foreign ministry spokesperson said earlier that six members of the Russian delegation who are included in the "blacklist" will be denied entry to Finland to participate in the PA OSCE session.
The Finnish Foreign Ministry held consultations until the very last moment about the possibility to allow them entry to the country as an exception. "I can confirm that Naryshkin is among those who will be denied entry," Hakkinen said. "I cannot disclose other names now, but the information about people on EU’s sanctions list is open," he added.
"We consulted with other EU member countries, EU’s and OSCE’s leaders before making a final decision," Hakkinen noted.
A source in the State Duma said earlier that Naryshkin plans to participate in the summer session of PA OSCE. Two draft resolutions that will be put forward for PA’s consideration were proposed by Russia. Head of Russia’s delegation to PA OSCE, State Duma deputy Nikolay Kovales said that the first draft resolution, authored by Naryshkin, focuses on "inadmissibility of imposing sanctions against parliamentarians from OSCE member countries," and the second, authored by Kovalev himself - on "importance of developing and implementing joint measures by OSCE member countries on preventing manifestations of Neo-Nazism."
Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.