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Russian Delegation Cancels Visit To UN Over Visa Restrictions

A Russian parliamentary delegation that had planned to attend Inter-Parliamentary Union events in New York next week has canceled the visit because of restrictions on the visa the United States granted to Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

Matviyenko, who was targeted by broad U.S. sanctions and a travel ban last year because of her involvement in Russia's annexation of Crimea, was restricted from attending parliamentary union events that were scheduled to take place at the United Nations.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow did not comment on the curbs in Matviyenko's visa.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the restrictions as "inpermissible" and "unacceptable" for states hosting multilateral forums on their territory, and said the restrictions make it "impossible" for the delegation to visit.

That's "absolutely right," said Andrei Klimov, deputy head of the Federation Council foreign affairs committee. "The main goal of the visit was to take part in a meeting of female speakers of parliament, and senators who accompany Valentina Matviyenko would have nothing to do there if they went without our speaker."

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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