Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group, Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete was denied admission into Russia Monday. Kalniete was travelling to Moscow to attend the funeral of Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of Russian democratic opposition, who was assassinated on Friday.
A Russian Foreign Ministry source was quoted by Meduza.io saying: “Kalniete is denied entry into the Russian Federation because of her anti-Russian activities, in accordance with [Moscow’s] response to the EU’s actions against a number of Russian officials. Please note that the Latvian government was notified about this in advance. For these reasons, Ms. Kalniete’s arrival in Moscow is hard to characterize as anything but an attempt to provoke an incident.”
In a tweet late Monday, the Latvian MEP posted a photo of a notice served to her that said her attempt to enter Russia was a “criminal offense.” Her diplomatic passport had not been returned.
“Despite this decision of the Putin regime I want the relatives and friends of Boris Nemtsov and all Russian democrats to know that we, citizens of Europe, my country Latvia and my political family – the European People’s Party – are with them at this tragic moment in Russia’s history,” said Kalniete. This is now the third time that a Member of the European Parliament has been stopped at the Russian border. The Chair of the Polish Senate was also denied entry.
In Moscow for #Nemtsov funeral. In Sheremetyevo denied entry, my diplomatic passport not yet returned. Have to stay in the “Snowden Hotel”.. — Sandra Kalniete (@Kalniete) March 2, 2015
Nice notice served to me by Russian border guards instead of my passport. Was warned: trying entering RU = criminal pic.twitter.com/utlFsp7Xdh
— Sandra Kalniete (@Kalniete) March 2, 2015