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Russian lawmaker urges "tangible" response to US disrupting parliament speaker’s visit

August 27, 2015, 13:26 UTC+3
Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko got a limited entry visa to the US, which restricts her from visiting the Inter-Parliamentary Union events in New York
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© AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

MOSCOW, August 27. /TASS/. A top foreign policy lawmaker in Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on Thursday urged to take "tangible" response measures against the United States for disrupting a visit by the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament to events of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

"I believe we should think about response measures, and these measures should be tangible enough for the side practising such discrimination," Alexey Pushkov, head of the International Affairs Committee at the Russian parliament's lower chamber, told TASS.

The US embassy in Moscow has issued an entry visa to Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko but with restrictions, which are banning her from participation in the Inter-Parliamentary Union events in New York.

Matviyenko was supposed to attend the 10th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament in New York , due to take place on August 29-30; and the 4th World Conference of Women Speakers of Parliament due to be held in New York between August 31 and September 2.

UN should condemn use of sanctions, especially against lawmakers

Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said the practice of using unilateral sanctions and transfer of international events to the countries that do not support sanctions must be discussed at the next session of the UN General Assembly in late September. The senator thus responded to the disruption of the visit of the Russian delegation led by Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko to New York through the fault of the United States.

Due to the "unfortunate experience of Helsinki and New York," when the visits of the speakers of both houses of the Russian parliament to international forums were cancelled because of visa restrictions, "sober-minded politicians around the world need to take two decisions of their own," Kosachev noted. "First, to condemn the practice of using unilateral sanctions essentially as contravening international law, and in the case of parliamentarians - elementary logic." "Second, to agree not to hold international events in the countries imposing unilateral (and even collective) sanctions not coordinated with the UN."

"I think it will be appropriate to do this, without delay, at the next session of the UN General Assembly opening at the end of September," Kosachev said, adding that "its resolutions are non-binding, but still…" The senator also suggested raising the issue "at the next assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which will take place in mid-October in Geneva and which the Russian delegation will attend in full strength led by the Federation Council speaker."

"Perhaps, this collective voice of the international community will leave less space for the drama and farce in the arbitrary actions of the counties claiming global influence. The sooner the better," Kosachev noted.

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