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Russian delegation will not participate in PA OSCE session in Helsinki -- lawmaker

The Russian delegation will not participate in the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) due to take place in Helsinki on July 5-9, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said on Wednesday.

Finland's Foreign Ministry earlier announced that it will deny entry to Naryshkin and other parliamentarians included in the sanctions list.

"It became known yesterday in the evening that under the pressure from Washington and Brussels, the Finnish authorities deny five members of the Russian delegation the legal right to participate in the PA OSCE session," Naryshkin said, commenting on Finland's decision to deny him entry to participate in PA OSCE session. "My colleagues agreed with me that it is impressible to lower the level of representation of the Russian delegation at the session, especially such an important session, devoted to the 40th anniversary of signing the Helsinki Final Act - a fundamental document," he noted.

"The Russian delegation in full will not participate in the session," he said. "This is the expression of our protest against arbitrariness, against violation of principles of democracy and parliamentarism," Naryshkin noted.

Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin has said he will participate in the session of the of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA OSCE) in Mongolia's Ulan Bator.

"We will continue working in PA OSCE. The next session will take place in Mongolia, in Ulan Bator. I am sure that the Mongolian authorities will fulfill their commitments in full and will accept delegations from all OSCE member countries. I will definitely make a speech at a session in Ulan Bator," he said.

"Truth and reason will make its way, and no instructions, no shouts from across the ocean will not prevent Europeans from their wish and aspiration to be together and build our home - Europe - without dividing lines," Naryshkin said. "The destructive and aggressive policy of Washington and its allies will not be able to change the sovereign will of Europeans to define their future by themselves and the future of their home - Europe. For us, Europeans, such freedom is above all," he stressed.

Finland's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vesa Hakkinen told TASS earlier on Wednesday that Finland will deny entry to Naryshkin to participate in July's PA OSCE session. Such decision was made because Naryshkin is included in EU's sanctions list, Hakkinen said.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry held consultations until the very last moment about the possibility to allow them entry to the country as an exception. "I can confirm that Naryshkin is among those who will be denied entry," Hakkinen said. "I cannot disclose other names now, but the information about people on EU's sanctions list is open," he added.

"We consulted with other EU member countries, EU's and OSCE's leaders before making a final decision," Hakkinen noted.

Two draft resolutions that will be put forward for PA's consideration were proposed by Russia. Head of Russia's delegation to PA OSCE, State Duma deputy Nikolay Kovales said that the first draft resolution, authored by Naryshkin, focuses on "inadmissibility of imposing sanctions against parliamentarians from OSCE member countries," and the second, authored by Kovalev himself - on "importance of developing and implementing joint measures by OSCE member countries on preventing manifestations of Neo-Nazism."

Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 01Jul15]

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