Russia's Foreign Ministry slammed Wednesday a decision made by Ukraine to deny entry to senior Russian lawmakers, calling it a serious and unfriendly act, RIA Novosti reported.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker of the lower chamber of parliament and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), was forbidden Ukraine earlier Wednesday. Two days earlier another senior member of the lower house, Konstantin Zatulin, had suffered the same fate.
"The Russian side regards the ban on Vladimir Zhirinovsky and other Russian citizens from entering Ukraine to be a serious and unfriendly act that contradicts statements of the Ukrainian leadership on their desire to consolidate relations with Russia," ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said.
Kamynin said no such acts should happen if countries maintained normal good-neighborly relations and he said he hoped that Ukraine's authorities would revise their decision.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Filipchuk said Zhirinovsky, who is known throughout Russia for his outspoken statements, had been banned from traveling Ukraine over "insulting statements about Ukraine."
Zhirinovsky said the ban was connected with his criticism of Ukraine's plans to join NATO.
Zalutin said Monday that the Ukrainian authorities had accused him of "creating prerequisites for unlawful actions," a wording he claimed could be applied to just about anyone.
He had been planning to travel to the Crimea, a Russian-speaking area on the Black Sea, which is currently the scene of anti-NATO protests after a U.S. cargo ship docked at a port on May 27.
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