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CERAweek organizers withdraw accreditation from Russian diplomats — Consul General

Alexander Zakharov believes that it is impossible to analyze the situation on the world oil market without Russia's participation

NEW YORK, March 8. /TASS/. The accreditation of Russian diplomats was withdrawn at the last minute by the organizers of the international energy conference CERAweek in Houston, Russian Consul General in Texas Alexander Zakharov told TASS.

"A completely incomprehensible situation has arisen. Over the years, representatives of the Russian business, especially the oil and gas industry, have always participated in it," the diplomat said, noting that the Russian Consulate General has attended the forum since its inception in 2003-2004.

"We have received the invitation, we have registered for it, but literally on Sunday evening (March 5 - TASS) our accreditation was withdrawn," Zakharov noted.

The Consul General believes that it is impossible to analyze the situation on the world oil market without Russia's participation. "Russia is one of the largest hydrocarbon producers in the world. I fully understand that there are and will be efforts to replace the declining Russian volumes. But this is literally impossible; it is extremely difficult," he said. Zakharov said he did not see any Russian representatives on the list of conference participants.

He also said that the U.S. is delaying the approval of the presence of Russian diplomats on launches to the ISS as part of the cross-flight program. "The invitations are coming, and we have asked to attend the launches ourselves. But this depends on the verification regime and permissions - coordination with all American services takes about a month. We did not insist this time, fully aware of the potential difficulties. But we intend to participate next time," he said.

The diplomat added that there has been no progress in the US issuing visas to employees of the Russian Consulate General in Houston, Texas. "Unfortunately, we see no progress. The American side maintains its position of a maximum three-year stay for most employees. After these three years there is practically no extension," he said.