Second senator denied visa to enter Russia

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights GOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Trump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP MORE (D-Conn.) said Tuesday that the Russian government denied him a visa to enter the country, making him at least the second senator to be denied a visa this week.

Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that he had been planning to visit the country as part of an upcoming bipartisan congressional delegation.

“Unfortunately, the Russian government is further isolating their country by blocking our visit and several others in recent months," Murphy said.

"With the collapse of recent arms control agreements and significant domestic opposition to Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWe, the People: A radical idea that must persist Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Feehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision MORE’s authoritarian rule, this is potentially a perilous moment for our two nations’ fragile relationship, and it’s a shame that Russia isn’t interested in dialogue,” he added.

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Murphy said that because the countries have the "world’s two largest nuclear arsenals with the capacity to destroy each other many times over" they also have a "responsibility to keep the world safe and prevent conflict between the U.S. and Russia."

The Russian Embassy in a tweeted statement called Murphy's assertion that it was isolating itself "nonsense."

"If U.S. legislators favored development of equal inter-parliamentary dialogue with Russia, they would have long hosted their colleagues from the Federation Assembly of the Russian federation on the Capitol Hill," the statement said.

 

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP Republicans wary of US action on Iran Democratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years MORE (R-Wis.), who is also on the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Monday that Russia had also denied his visa request to go to the country as part of a congressional delegation.

"I had hoped direct dialogue with Russian parliamentarians could help set the stage for better future relations between our two nations," Johnson said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Russian officials continue to play diplomatic games with this sincere effort and have denied me entrance to Russia."

Russia has criticized and denied entry to U.S. lawmakers before. Johnson and Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTo stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US 'locked and loaded' to defend allies | Iran's leader rules out talks with US GOP senator: Iran is behind attack on Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Wyo.) moved in late 2017 to scrap a trip to Russia after they said Moscow denied a visa for fellow Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCruz endorses GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire Meghan McCain: Lewandowski Senate run would be 'an absolutely ridiculous crap show' Super PAC targets Lewandowski with ad amid Senate speculation MORE (D-N.H.).