15:17 GMT18 January 2021
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored that there was no legal basis for Finland’s decision to refuse the Russian delegation entry into the country in a telephone conversation with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, the Kremlin press service said in a statement Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On July 1, Finnish authorities denied travel visas to several Russian parliamentarians, due to participate in a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA) in Helsinki.

    Speaker of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin who features on the EU travel ban list, was among the delegates.

    "Vladimir Putin noted the legal incorrectness of the decision, adopted under pressure from some members of the European Union," the statement said.

    The telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinisto was initiated by the Finnish side.

    The Kremlin stated that the two presidents discussed "the situation in bilateral relations" in light of these events.

    Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the decision by Helsinki an "openly unfriendly step."

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    Tags:
    European Union, Schengen visa, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Vladimir Putin, Sergei Naryshkin, Finland, Russia
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