VIENNA, 23 Feb – Unprecedented pressure is being exerted on the Austrian authorities, but the host country’s fears are unfounded, said Pyotr Tolstoy, Vice Speaker of the State Duma, head of the Russian delegation at the winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA), commenting on the non-admission of members of the delegation to lay flowers at the monument to Soviet soldiers-liberators in Vienna.
Wreath-laying at the monument to Soviet soldiers-liberators took place in Vienna, Russian Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov took part in the solemn ceremony. Members of the Russian delegation to the OSCE PA were unable to attend the ceremony due to visa restrictions, Ambassador Lyubinsky explained. On their behalf, a separate wreath was laid at the monument.
“The Austrian authorities are under unprecedented pressure in connection with the stay of our delegation, they are very afraid of any public events with our participation in the territory of Austria, Vienna. Of course, we do not want to offend anyone in any way, we comply with all the rules that exist in this regard , but with regret we can state that they are afraid in vain,” Tolstoy said.
He added that the Russian delegation, immediately after arriving in Vienna on Wednesday, went to the monument to Soviet soldiers-liberators, which “symbolizes a lot – both the liberation of Vienna, Europe, and the memory of those who today, with arms in their hands, defend the future of Russia.” “That was our first stop in Vienna,” Tolstoy said.
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