05:25 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Russian Diplomat Denied UK Visa to Attend Media Freedom Conference - Embassy

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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom rejected the visa application of a Russian Foreign Ministry employee who planned to travel to the country for attending the Global Conference for Media Freedom, albeit he was officially invited and accredited by London, a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Wednesday.

    "Working visit visas for diplomats are known to be one of the problems in the current Russia-UK relations. But even in these conditions, the denial of visa to a Russian Foreign Ministry representative, who headed to the conference, seems wild. It was the United Kingdom that invited the Russian side to attend the conference, it accredited the Russian delegate itself and then rejected his visa application, thus disrupting his travel", the spokesperson said.

    The spokesperson added that such incidents had previously occurred in relations with the United States, which denied visas to Russian officials travelling to attend the UN events.

    "Now this practice has apparently been adopted by London — such unexpected phenomenon exposes the UK-US rapprochement amid Brexit. We greatly regret to observe how the rhetoric on 'global Britain' and 'rule of order' in practice brings about more and more breaches of international law and commonly accepted norms of diplomatic interaction", the spokesperson added.

    The UK Foreign Office normally does not comment on rejected visa applications.

    The Global Conference for Media Freedom is a two-day event taking place in London that kicked off earlier this day. Its stated aims are protection and prosecution, including impunity; national frameworks and legislation; building trust in media and countering disinformation; media sustainability.

    The conference earlier denied accreditation for the Sputnik news agency, as well as RT, without providing any explanation for this decision.

    Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the move calling the whole situation absurd.

    Related:

    Kremlin Slams Global Media Freedom Conference for Denying Accreditation to Sputnik, RT
    Sputnik Correspondent Denied Accreditation to Global Conference for Media Freedom
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