UNITED NATIONS – The global parliamentary organization says the speaker of the Russian Parliament's upper house will address its world conference Monday afternoon by video — and not in person because the U.S. barred her from attending.
Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko is under U.S. sanctions in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The sanctions do not bar officials from U.N. events, but the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference of speakers of parliaments is not a U.N. meeting.
IPU President Saber Chowdhury told the parliamentarians Monday that the visa granted to Matvienko by U.S. authorities "did not allow her to participate in our meetings."
Chowdhury said the IPU is "disappointed" and "strongly believes in and upholds the principle of dialogue, which regardless of differences is fundamental to democracy and international cooperation."