Moscow on Wednesday accused Britain of preventing Russia from participating in the upcoming Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in early July in Birmingham by refusing to issue visas to members of its delegation.
“All members of the delegation included in the sanctions lists of the United Kingdom, we asked in due course (…) to resolve the issue of the guarantee provided by the British side for the issuance of entry visas,” the Russian press quoted as saying. Agencies, Senator Vladimir Gabarov who is part of the Russian delegation.
“We received a terrible response that the British government cannot – literally – issue visas to members of the Russian delegation regardless of the reason for their visit to the country,” he added.
Mr. Gabarov, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, said a message had been sent to all delegations that “the exclusion of the Russian delegation seriously damages the credibility of the event”.
“Such a decision invalidates all decisions and decisions made in our absence,” Pyotr Tolstoy, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, told the public news agency TASS.
He added that Moscow “reserves the right to withdraw from the organization which, on the orders of Russophobia, is impeding Russia’s work.”
London has imposed several series of sanctions on Moscow since the start of the attack on Ukraine, in particular banning its territory from several Russian officials.
The 29th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will be held in Birmingham from 2 to 6 July. This will be the first annual in-person session since 2019, as the 2020 session has been canceled and a 2021 remote release occurs due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), established in 1975 to promote dialogue between East and West, and then long confined to the role of maintaining diplomatic channels in “frozen conflicts,” returned to the fore in 2014 to support the implementation of peace agreements in Ukraine. It is outdated with the current Russian offensive.
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