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Leader of Norwegian Liberals banned by Russia
Thursday 2 February 2017 12:02

The Norwegian Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence has cancelled its visit to Russia in solidarity with Trine Skei Grande MP, leader of LI full member Venstre, after it became clear that the Russian authorities declared her unwelcome. Ms Skei Grande was denied a visa to travel to Moscow where she was invited by the leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council.

Russia has placed prominent liberal leaders on a list of barred people from entering the country. Among them are LI President of Honour and ALDE President Hans van Baalen MEP, the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland MP, ALDE Leader Guy Verhofstadt MEP and former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP.

Skei Grande called the incident a “great pity” adding the meeting was to be at “a time where closer dialogue with Russia on security and human rights is more imperative than ever”.

Venstre's Leader and LI Vice President sent a clear message: “I am not privy to the reason for denying me a visa, but I can assure the public that the Norwegian Parliament and the Committee on Foreign Affairs will continue to raise questions on the abuse of human rights around the world. This includes Russia, but also China, Turkey, the United States or even at home in Norway.”

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