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updated 9:43 AM UTC, Dec 29, 2017

Statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Finland’s decision to deny entry to the Russian delegation in the run-up to PACE session

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The Russian side views as unacceptable the Finnish authorities’ decision to deny entry to State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, head of the official delegation of the Russian Federal Assembly, and five other members of the Russian delegation to Helsinki for the 24th annual Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) session due to take place on July 5-9.

Statements that these members of parliament are included in the European Union’s sanctions list are absolutely inappropriate. EU decisions cannot justify Finland’s deviation from its international obligations when this country hosts the annual PACE session.

We consider such actions to be openly unfriendly; they do not conform to the principles of good-neighbourly relations and are detrimental to Russian-Finnish relations.

Hannu Himanen, Finland’s Ambassador in Moscow, was invited to the Russian Foreign Ministry today and briefed on the situation.

It was also decided not to send an official Russian delegation to a high-level meeting marking the 40th anniversary of signing the Helsinki Final Act, which is to be held in Helsinki immediately after the PACE session. An official of the Russian Embassy in Finland will attend the event.

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