This post was last updated on September 4th, 2019 at 05:03 am
American businessman and politician Ron Johnson, who has been serving as the senior United States Senator from Wisconsin, condemned the Russian authorities for denying him a visa to visit Russia on Monday. His visit was considered a part of a bipartisan congressional delegation next week.
As a part of an eight-member delegation, Johnson visited Russia in July 2018. During that time, the analysts and opposition leaders criticized the Wisconsin Republicans and other lawmakers in the country for using an appeasing tone with the Russian officials at the meeting.
Ron Johnson aimed at setting an open stage for better future relations between the two nations by his current visit, believing that direct dialogues through such platforms would effectively help in getting best results. He even called the visa denial “a petty affront” by the authorities and said that he had been working with the US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. to get appropriate results.
Johnson, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is chairman of the panel’s subcommittee on Europe and regional security cooperation, further added, “Unfortunately, Russian officials continue to play diplomatic games with this sincere effort and have denied me entrance to Russia.” He pledged to “continue to advocate a strong and resolute response to Russian aggression — and frank dialogue when possible.”
Against Ron Johnson’s claims, the Russian Embassy in Washington said that the senator had never asked for a visa and hadn’t informed the mission about his plans to visit.
They tweeted, “Senator Ron Johnson’s groundless accusations against Russia leave no doubt — he is ready not for a dialogue, but a confrontation. In his usual Russophobic manner, he distorts Russian foreign policy and allows himself rude remarks. Based on that it is unlikely one can seriously take his statements of alleged intentions to restore direct dialogue with Russian parliamentarians.”
Amid continued criticism over visa denials, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy on Tuesday also claimed that his entry to Russia was also blocked by the Russian officials.
The entire issue has raised several questions as to why Russia has allowed Ron Johnson to travel with an all-Republican delegation on a previous trip but denied visa for a bipartisan delegation next week. Many Democrats have been viewing it as Kremlin’s restrictions, a measure to keep out the congressional Democrats.