MOSCOW, July 1 /TASS/. Finland sided with the Baltic States when it imposed entry bans on Russian deputies who were supposed to attend a session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Russian State Duma Deputy Nikolay Kovalev, Parliamentary Assembly’s representative for struggle against terrorism, said on Wednesday.
"Just three or four OSCE member states were against issuing entry visas to Russian parliamentarians. Naturally, the Baltic States were among them. The Finnish Foreign Ministry suddenly passed a decision based on their opinion," Kovalev, who is planning to attend the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session as the Assembly’s special representative for fighting terrorism, told journalists. "Pressure exerted by Brussels and Washington certainly played its role," he added.
"The Finnish side’s references to the EU procedures cannot serve as ground for violating Finland’s OSCE commitments. Finland has committed itself to observing human rights and international norms and cannot use the EU procedures as the reason for abandoning them," the Russian politician said.
"Naturally, the Finnish side’s decision has dealt a serious blow to the principles of democracy and demonstrated absolute disrespect for Russian citizens who elected the deputies as their representatives to Russia’s highest legislative body," Kovalev said.