Press TV has interviewed Andre Vltchek, an investigative journalist, currently in Tehran, to discuss Washington’s visa restrictions against senior Russian MP Valentina Matviyenko, which kept her from attending a conference in New York.
Following is a rough transcription.
Press TV: What do you make of this move? Are you surprised that the United States basically has not allowed her to attend this conference and why do you think that is the case?
Vltchek: Well, I think it is a very dangerous move on the part of the US government and State Department. It is again designed to antagonize Russia. Valentina Matviyenko is a very popular Russian politician. She is a speaker of the upper house of the Russian Parliament and what actually happened means that the entire group of Russian legislators is not going to attend the meetings in New York, at the United Nations.
This is of course based on technicality – visa regulations and restrictions – that the US has imposed based on technicality. But the way the visa which was given to her would not allow her to participate in the meetings in New York that she was intended to attend. A part of the participation in the meetings that are of course, visa regulations for the politicians that are from the countries that the United States is antagonizing. One of these regulations is that they can circulate only in the radius of 25 miles from the building of the United Nations which basically just covers New York City and the airports be it Newark [Liberty], or JFK or LaGuardia.
So this is considered very unacceptable by Russia and Russia is retaliating by demanding that the United Nations would be moved from the country, which is so biased as the United States, to a neutral country like Swiss and most likely to the city of Geneva.
Press TV: Why do you think that we are seeing this? Basically it seems like upping of the ante between Washington in dealing with Moscow and of course, the basic relations between the United States and Russia deteriorated after the coup in Ukraine and now we have seen throughout this time, continual actions. Basically it appears that the United States wants to get a reaction from Russia. Why do you think we are seeing this upping of the ante constantly out of Washington?
Vltchek: What is happening is that Russia is being provoked, it is being antagonized by the US foreign policy and there are some very serious reasons for it. For instance Russia is moving closer to China, there is a new international bank the two countries are soon launching. Russia is involved in negotiations in the Middle East, it is supporting the legitimate government in Syria and Russia is denouncing and protesting against actions that have been taking place in the last few months in Yemen. So there are many reasons why Washington feels that Russia is one of the countries that are actually refusing to accept the dictate of the United States and the West.
Of course, another country is China and there are several other countries in the Latin America; very importantly it is Iran and very importantly also it is South Africa.