In an illustrious move of power, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs DENIED Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on human rights) a visa to enter the country.
Having some experience in these issues, I know the U.S. Ambassador and the State Department will go out of its way to ensure Visas are approved for Congressional Delegations, especially high-level meetings.
Clearly, the Russian government wants to show that it can still run the show… but is this actually a step in the right direction for either country? Or a signal that we will look back on as a waste of time?
Notably, Josh Rogin reports Rep. Smith has been denied visa’s in other countries: China, Belarus, and Cuba, to name a few.
Whatever the end game is, Russia, you made your point. You are not interested in discussing Human Rights Issues. Congratulations, you’ve made your line in the sand.