Letter | Russia denies Danish election observers

We were rather disappointed to read unsupported allegations in your newspaper that the Russian Embassy has denied Danish observers visas to Russia. It is a far cry from truth for no election observers from NGO SILBA (Support Initiative for Liberty and Democracy) have turned to the Russian Embassy. There was a group of the youth who wanted to participate in the seminars arranged by the Russian political party Jabloko.

The Russian Embassy explained to them what papers they should have provided to the embassy so that it could issue visas to them. However, the embassy could not do that on the basis of the direct letter of invitation from Jabloko they have submitted to us. This is clearly stated in the agreement between the Russian and Danish government on the facilitation of the issuance of visas to the citizens of Russia and Denmark. We suggested that they apply to either the Russian Foreign Ministry or Federal Migration Service for a proper invitation.

Unfortunately, misinterpretation of those details resulted in unsupported accusations in some Danish media that the Russian Embassy was motivated by political reasons dealing with the visa issues of these young people. We believe that if media want to be impartial, they should have clarified the issue with the embassy. Thus we expect that you find it possible to print the position of the Russian Embassy as well.


We would also like to add that Russia has long negotiated with the EU for visa-free trips for the citizens of Russia and the EU member states, which would greatly facilitate connections between people. The issue, as you probably know, is delayed by the EU. 


The author is the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Denmark.