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MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. Russia’s Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), told TASS on Wednesday he hoped the United States would grant him next week a visa to enter their country.
"I spoke with Washington yesterday," Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with TASS adding that he had provided all necessary documents to travel to the United States.
"I have provided them with the information regarding all of my foreign travels for the last 15 years," he said. "On the average, I have 90 foreign travels annually. I have also passed finger prints scanning procedure."
"I am now waiting for their decision," Ilyumzhinov said. "I hope that next week I will be granted a permission to enter the United States."
In November 2015, the United States Department of Treasury imposed sanctions against Ilyumzhinov stating that he had been "materially assisting and acting for, or on behalf of the Government of Syria, Central Bank of Syria." Ilyumzhinov denied the allegations saying he had no commercial interests in Syria.
Ilyumzhinov announced in spring his plans to go to New York for the 2016 FIDE World Chess Championship in November and hoped that the US-imposed sanctions would have been lifted by that time.
Russian businessman and longtime FIDE President Ilyumzhinov was re-elected to this post in August 2014 beating former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. Ilyumzhinov won 110 votes, while Grandmaster Kasparov garnered 61 FIDE mandates. In 2010, Ilyumzhinov faced a similar challenge by another former world champion, Anatoly Karpov, Kasparov's long-time rival. Ilyumzhinov plans to run for re-election again in 2018.
The 54-year-old FIDE president, who has headed the federation since 1995, promised to put chess into the Winter Olympics’ program.