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Situation with denying entry to Russian delegation will not happen again — PA OSCE head

July 17, 2015, 16:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
PA OSCE president Ilkka Kanerva named concrete steps that will allow to prevent such scenario in the future
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OSCE Parliamentary Assembly president Ilkka Kanerva

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly president Ilkka Kanerva

© Anna Isakova/Russian State Duma Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. The situation when members of the Russian delegation are denied visas to attend PA OSCE session because of sanctions will never happen again, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) Ilkka Kanerva said on Friday.

"Of course, Russia contributes a lot to Assembly’s parliamentary activities. I am 100% sure that in the future, we will be able to prevent such situations from happening," Kanerva told journalists after his meeting with Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin.

Kanerva said he "named concrete steps that will allow to prevent it in the future." "I am rather optimistic and think that this scenario will not be repeated," he added.

The PA OSCE president spoke in favor of normalizing relations with Russia and restoring parliamentarian dialogue. "I think that it is necessary to normalize our relations, resolve all problems that emerge between PA OSCE and Russia, to restore contacts," Kanerva stressed. "We should return to discussing future steps that would allow 57 PA OSCE member countries to sit at the negotiations table again and start working," he added.

Talking about the situation in the region, Kanerva noted that European problems cannot be solved without Russia’s participation. He added that the situation in Europe was very difficult at the moment, with a host of problems facing it. Russia should be involved in negotiations, in the settlement of all issues, the president said, marking a growing importance of a parliamentary dialogue.

Russian State Duma speaker does not blame PA OSCE president for Finland’s refusal to issue visas

Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin has said Friday he does not blame President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) Ilkka Kanerva for Finnish authorities’ refusal to issue visas to Russian delegation members.

"I like you personally very much and I saw how eagerly you started working after being elected to this post. Of course, I do not blame you for what happened in Helsinki. I blame the Finnish government," Naryshkin said at a meeting with Kanerva.

Naryshkin noted that some Finnish officials called and apologized for the incident, saying they are ashamed of the Finnish authorities’ actions.

The Duma speaker said that refusal to issue visas for members of the Russian delegation to participate in the session of the PA OSCE session will become "a taint" for OSCE. "It is a taint for PA OSCE which will forever remain part of the organization’s history," Naryshkin stressed, adding that Russia always treated this organization with respect.

Next annual PA OSCE session to take place in Tbilisi

The next annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2016, the assembly’s president, Ilkka Kanerva, told journalists on Friday.

The next annual session will be held in Georgia, in Tbilisi, next year, Kanerva said after meeting Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

Russian delegation denied visas

On July 1, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said that Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin will be denied entry to Finland to participate in the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) in Helsinki on July 5-9. The decision was explained by the fact that the State Duma speaker was included in EU’s "blacklist" of sanctioned officials.

Naryshkin later announced that the Russian delegation as a whole will not participate in the PA OSCE session in Helsinki, where it planned to put forward draft resolutions on impermissibility of sanctions against parliamentarians and countering Nazism rehabilitation. However, the Duma speaker confirmed that Russia plans to participate in the next PA OSCE session in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator.

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