Comment by the Foreign Ministry on the issuance of a US visa to Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko
Considering the media rumours, we’d like to clear up the situation over the issuance of a US visa to Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.
To begin with, this particular visa issue has become an unacceptable problem because of the US stance. It concerns the attendance of a planned international event in New York by a high-ranking Russian delegation – the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. It’s unclear why the US is hindering the work of our representatives at a major multilateral forum, instead of contributing to its being normally held in the United States.
The issue of a US visa for Valentina Matviyenko has been discussed during Russian Foreign Ministry officials’ meetings with representatives of the US Administration. In particular, Sergey Lavrov raised this issue during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Kuala Lumpur on August 5 and in a telephone conversation on August 13. Mr Kerry promised to provide an answer in the next few days, but no progress has been made on this issue. High-ranking officials at the US Department of State hinted that a visa could be issued to the Federation Council Speaker in view of her planned meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. But these promises were purely verbal.
We hope that Washington will settle this issue positively, at long last.
August 25, 2015