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MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Russian senator Konstantin Dobrynin has criticized proposal by pop singer Iosif Kobzon, a veteran of the Soviet and Russian music stage, to suspend diplomatic relations with the U.S. in the wake of Washington’s refusal to issue a full-scale travel visa to the speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko.
Kobzon’s proposal is unconstructive but it reflects the serious tensions between Russia and leading Western powers - not only political but much more psychological one, Dobrynin, who chairs the upper house committee for constitutional legislation, told TASS.
Iosif Kobzon, a household name for several generations of Soviet and Russian audiences who is known for his tough patriotic stance on all the cardinal issues of the domestic and foreign policy, told the Russian News Service radio earlier on Saturday it would make sense for Russia to suspend diplomatic relations with the U.S. after Washington’s decision to issue a heavily restricted visa to Matviyenko.
"I’d halt all the diplomatic ties with the U.S. so as to make the Americans feel there’s no treating Russia this way, no playing such tricks on Russia," he said.
"The proposal voiced by deputy Kobzon on halting diplomatic relations with the U.S. is unconstructive but quite explicable and pardonable if you recall his personal relations with the U.S.," Dobrynin said.
"His opinion reflects the degree of the tensions that exist today in relations between Russia and the leading Western powers, the U.S. in the first place," he said. "These tensions are not only, and not so much, political but in a greater measure psychological."
Dobrynin believes that the current surge of tensions in relations between Russia and the U.S. stems from contradictions between the two countries on a number of international problems and is understandable and explainable.
"Still the contradictions between the two global powers shouldn’t entail a kind of statements that only aggravate the controversies instead of resolving them through a direct and frank dialogue," he said.
Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Federation Council upper house of parliament, is one of the Russian politicians whom the U.S. Administration put on a blacklist in connection with Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
Nonetheless she received an official invitation to take part in the 4th World Conference of parliament speakers from August 31 to September 2. She was also expected to attend a conference of women speakers on August 29-30.
She did not rule out earlier the U.S. might deny an entry visa to her. When the U.S. embassy issued the visa finally, she found out that it contained a number of unacceptable restrictions on her stay in the U.S. In the wake of it, the whole Russian delegation decided to stay away from the trip to New York.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said with regard to the incident the U.S. actions constituted a glaring encroachment on universally accepted norms of international law and ran counter to the obligations of countries hosting multilateral forums on their territories.
As the country where the UN is headquartered, the U.S. is obliged to provide entry of its territory for everyone arriving to take part in the official functions and events organized under the UN auspices.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union is an independent international association headquartered in Geneva and it has the status of an observer agency at the UN.