Russian Ministry of foreign affairs said that the US Senator Ron Johnson, Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Chairman who claimed Monday he was denied a visa by the government of the Russian Federation, is in Russia’s “stop list” and has long been aware of it, reported Sputnik Tuesday.
Sen. Johnson was planning to visit Russia “as a part of congressional delegation” to hold meetings with various Russian government officials, yet was allegedly denied entry.
“Working with Ambassador Huntsman, I had hoped direct dialogue with Russian parliamentarians could help set the stage for better future relations between our two nations,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, Russian officials continue to play diplomatic games with this sincere effort and have denied me entrance to Russia. Regardless of this petty affront, I will continue to advocate a strong and resolute response to Russian aggression — and frank dialogue when possible.”
Russian Embassy in the United States said Tuesday that Sen. Johnson did not apply for a Russian visa, noting that Johnson must be not ready for the dialogue with Russia.
“He has not applied for a visa, but he has presented the information as if he has been denied the visa after applying for it,” it stated.
We have long been calling on the #UnitedStates🇺🇸 to remove lawmakers from any travel restrictions as a first step towards abolition of «blacklists». #BTW the senator did not apply for a visa at our Embassy and did not inform about his plans to visit @Russia🇷🇺 https://t.co/SQLA4uvKPh pic.twitter.com/RQXBHozJg0
— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) August 27, 2019
Later the same day Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Johnson is in the “stop list.”
“This is what we call manipulating information. He is on the stop list, at a response for including Russian representatives there, which he has long been aware of,” the Ministry said.
Konstantin Kosachev, Russian Senator at the parliament’s upper house, said that Johnson did not approach foreign affairs committee. “We are not aware of the aim of his visit,” he said. Kosachev explained that Moscow has reached out to Washington offering to downsize the stop list.
“Unfortunately, we have not seen any practical reaction by the US senators and congressmen to our offers,” he said.
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya commented in the matter. “Second term Senator decided to promote himself on account of Russia, instead of legislative initiatives. Russia is on the lips of every US politician, and here we have an inconspicuous member of the Foreign Relations Committee, who has not risen to the top with his deeds, yet decided to showboat. He must have imagined that he applied for a visa and was refused entry to the country. It is either cheap self-promotion, or this man is struggling with paranoia.”
Veselnitskaya also suggested that Johnson’s statement was made to initiate a new wave of enlarging the stop lists.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website