European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Monday called on Russia to allow a delegation led by Lithuanian MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis to enter the country despite tension between Brussels and Moscow.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz
© Scanpix

Schulz said he had raised the issue with Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov.

"I have raised the issue with the Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov. I stressed to the Ambassador that banning such a mission is counterproductive and urged him to reconsider the decision, given the importance of the visit for both sides," the EP president was quoted as saying in a statement. "Even in the current deep crisis in our relationship, diplomatic channels of communication should remain open."

Last week, Russia refused entry to a delegation led by Landsbergis to Moscow, scheduled for the end of this month.

Landsbergis notified EP President Martin Schulz that in response to a recent EP resolution, Russia had refused to issue visas to members of the official delegation and also organize official meetings.

"(...) No meeting with Russian MPs and officials would be organized for my visit. Consequently, my visit would become a non-official one, and visas would not be delivered to the two persons accompanying me," Landsbergis said in a letter to Schulz.

In October, the EP Foreign Affairs Committee authorized Landsbergis to draft a report about the relations between the European Union and Russia. Landsbergis intended to collect materials for the document in Moscow on 29-31 January.

Landsbergis told BNS that he "sees the Kremlin's decision as a hostile action and disrespect for the European Parliament as an institution."

BNS
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