HELSINKI, July 9. /TASS/. Representatives of 19 countries have voiced discontent with the absence of the Russian delegation at the annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Helsinki, Finland.
A representative of Italy’s delegation, Sergio Divina, told TASS Thursday that Italy, Austria and Belarus have initiated a joint statement expressing disagreement that some Russians have not been allowed to Helsinki.
"The document says that we have gathered here to remember the "spirit" of Helsinki after 40 years since the signing of the Helsinki Final Act and that’s why the exclusion from this process of parliamentarians [of one of countries] is not a right step and the signatories regret this," Divina said.
The statement has been handed over to OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva and is expected to be added to the final documents of the annual session, although the document is not official, he added.
A total of 65 parliamentarians participating in the meeting have signed the statement, obtained by TASS.
Last week, Finland denied entry to the speaker of the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, Sergey Naryshkin and five more Russian citizens who had planned to take part in the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The country’s Foreign Ministry said that all of them were on the list of individuals sanctioned by the EU. Following the decision, Russia said that none of the Russian delegates would attend it.