Russian MP Returns From Ukraine After Detention On Aircraft

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- A Russian lawmaker who is blacklisted from entering Ukraine has returned from the country after a failed attempt to attend a Russian language festival, Russia’s consulate in Simferopol said on Tuesday.

Konstantin Zatulin

Konstantin Zatulin was declared persona non grata by Ukraine last July over his “anti-Ukrainian” statement that the Crimea should be returned to Russia.

Zatulin flew from St. Petersburg to the Crimean city of Simferopol on Saturday, but was prevented from leaving the plane. After waiting on board for several hours, he complained of high blood pressure, and was admitted to a local hospital.

After arriving in Moscow, the lawmaker told reporters that Ukraine’s security officers refused to give a satisfactory explanation for refusing to admit him, and said he had been let into the country on January 31 this year.

“I understand that Ukraine can deny access to its territory if it wants to, but it should give reasons for such a move,” he said.

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) says that Zatulin’s ban on entering Ukraine remains in force.

However, Zatulin said that the last document on the issue that he received from the Ukrainian authorities was the August 7, 2008 note from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, granting him free entrance to Ukraine.

“They have not notified me that I’m banned from entering Ukraine since them,” he said, adding that he and the Russian Foreign Ministry notified Ukraine of the visit in advance.

As well as his controversial comments on the Crimea, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet still has a base, Zatulin angered the Ukrainian government with his participation in anti-NATO protests. He earlier appealed his ban with a Ukrainian Court.

He stood by his statement, saying: “The main thing I want to say is that Crimea, of course, wants to come home… The Ukrainian authorities, which do not want to see us on their territory, could easily resolve this problem by returning the Crimea to Russia.”

Russia’s consulate in Simferopol has protested over the incident, while Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called Ukraine’s continued blacklisting of the lawmaker “unfriendly.”

Vladimir Pashedko, Russia’s senior consul in the Crimean city, said Zatulin will continue to work to have the ban lifted. “Zatulin is known for his positive feelings to Ukraine and Ukrainians - this is a fraternal love to a brotherly nation,” Pashedko said.

The Crimea was part of the Russian empire and of Soviet Russia until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed it in 1954 to Soviet Ukraine. After the Soviet Union’s breakup in 1991, the peninsula became part of independent Ukraine.

Source: RIA Novosti


Alexios said…
weird story...

eukraine needs you:Українська
Pushkin said…
The Ukrainian authorities are so out of touch and out of common sense. The Crimean Peninsula is autonomous and its jurisdictional status is up in the air for many Russians living in Ukraine and Russians living in the motherland. Perhaps the Ukrainian authorities have not heard the everyday comments of Russian Black Sea Fleet Marines that Crimea should be returned to Russia. It takes just a referendum and time will show. Yuschenko and Timoshenko may despise the Russian culture and language, but memory and heart are stronger than short sided minds. We will see...
Volodymyr said…
Ukraine must to protect its territory!