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Finland denies entry to Russian State Duma speaker to participate in PA OSCE session

July 01, 2015, 11:13 UTC+3 HELSINKI
Such decision was made because Naryshkin is included in EU’s sanctions list, Finland’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said
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Russian State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin

Russian State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin

© Alexandr Shalgin/Russia's parliament press service/TASS

HELSINKI, July 1. /TASS/. Finland has denied entry to Russian State Duma Speaker to participate in July’s session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE), Finland’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vesa Hakkinen told TASS on Wednesday.

Such decision was made because Naryshkin is included in EU’s sanctions list, Hakkinen said.

The foreign ministry spokesperson said earlier that six members of the Russian delegation who are included in the "blacklist" will be denied entry to Finland to participate in the PA OSCE session.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry held consultations until the very last moment about the possibility to allow them entry to the country as an exception. "I can confirm that Naryshkin is among those who will be denied entry," Hakkinen said. "I cannot disclose other names now, but the information about people on EU’s sanctions list is open," he added.

"We consulted with other EU member countries, EU’s and OSCE’s leaders before making a final decision," Hakkinen noted.

A source in the State Duma said earlier that Naryshkin plans to participate in the summer session of PA OSCE. Two draft resolutions that will be put forward for PA’s consideration were proposed by Russia. Head of Russia’s delegation to PA OSCE, State Duma deputy Nikolay Kovales said that the first draft resolution, authored by Naryshkin, focuses on "inadmissibility of imposing sanctions against parliamentarians from OSCE member countries," and the second, authored by Kovalev himself - on "importance of developing and implementing joint measures by OSCE member countries on preventing manifestations of Neo-Nazism."

Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

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