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updated 12:00 PM UTC, Mar 9, 2017

Foreign Ministry statement on the disruption of Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko’s trip to the United States to attend Inter-Parliamentary Union events in the United States

MIDRF

We are outraged by the US decision that has prevented Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko from attending major international events in New York, in particular the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament and the Tenth Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament.

The US visa, which was issued to Ms Matviyenko after much delay and procrastination, contains a number of unacceptable restrictions on her stay in the United States, in particular, a prohibition to attend the meetings or any other events of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. This has rendered the visit of a Russian delegation led by Valentina Matviyenko to New York impossible.

These actions by the US authorities are completely unacceptable. They amount to a gross violation of international law and run counter to the obligations of states that host multilateral forums. These actions by Washington, which claims the role of the main defender of democracy and the freedom of speech in the world, in essence make it impossible to voice any views that differ from the US political platform and priorities.

We can only ask in this situation: Does a state which has unceremoniously infringed on the plurality of opinion in international affairs and has usurped the right to decide who can attend major international events that it did not even organise have a moral right to host other such events in the future?

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