MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. The British government has denied visas to Russia’s delegation to the annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA), which will be held in Birmingham on July 2-6, the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs, Vladimir Dzhabarov, said on Wednesday.
"Since all members of Russia’s Federal Assembly are on the UK sanction list, we have asked the Assembly’s leadership, as well as the Russian Foreign Ministry beforehand to look into the issue and to secure Britain’s guarantees our legislators will be granted visas for participation in this most important inter-parliamentary event. Regrettably, we received an outrageous reply the British government cannot issue visas to Russia’s delegates to the OSCE PA whatever the purpose of their visit," Dzhabarov said.
He stressed that such discriminatory actions by the British side against the Russian parliamentary delegation were a direct and flagrant violation of the 2016 OSCE PA Declaration, which stipulates all member-states are obliged "to abide by their commitment to guarantee to all members of the Parliamentary Assembly the freedom to attend any official OSCE events and other parliamentary activities by issuing any visas or travel permits required for entry into their territories for at a minimum the duration of above-mentioned activities."
"In the light of the fact that the participation of Russia’s delegation in the annual summer session of the OSCE PA is not possible, the head of the Federal Assembly’s delegation sent a statement to the leadership and all members of the Assembly to the effect that the prevention of the Russian delegation from participating in the Assembly’s session undermines the credibility of the event itself and the entire organization as such, and that all of the session’s decisions, including the final declaration, adopted in Russia’s absence, will not be recognized as legitimate," Dzhabarov stressed.