MOSCOW, July 1 /TASS/. Finland’s decision to ban entry to members of the Russian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly does not comply with the principles of good-neighborliness and damages Russian-Finnish relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday.
"The Russian side regards as unacceptable the Finnish authorities decision to deny entry visas to Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin, who was supposed to head the delegation of the Russian Federal Assembly (parliament) to the 24th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Helsinki, and another five members of the Russian delegation," the ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Finnish Ambassador in Moscow Mr. Hannu Himanen on Wednesday demanding explanations. The ambassador was told that Russia regarded such moves as openly unfriendly, not complying with the principles of good-neighborliness and damaging to Russian-Finnish relations.
Any references that the parliamentarians in question are on the EU sanctions list are absolutely inappropriate, the Russian diplomats said.
"EU decisions cannot justify Finland’s departure from international commitments when the country is hosting the annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
"It was also decided not to send a Russian official delegation to a high-level meeting devoted to the 40th anniversary of signing the Helsinki Final Act, which is being held in Helsinki alongside the annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. An employee of the Russian embassy in Finland will take part in that meeting," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.