Interior Ministry Head obtains visa despite US sanctions

Interior Ministry Head obtains visa despite US sanctions
Vladimir Kolokoltsev

Despite the sanctions, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev managed to visit the United States. According to the General, "there were no any problems entering the US."

Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, who is visiting the United States to participate in UN events, talked about the process of getting an American visa. According to the General, despite the sanctions, he managed to enter the US "with no trouble," TASS reports.

Kolokoltsov arrived at the United Nations Headquarters to attend a member states police departments' meeting. During the visit, the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs met with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, discussing the participation of Russian policemen in peacekeeping missions.

After the meeting, the journalists turned to Kolokoltsov with a question about the details of getting an American visa. "There were no troubles," the Interior Minister replied.

Together with some other Russian officials and businessmen, Kolokoltsov was included on the US Department of the Treasure sanction list in April. This list was prepared on the basis of the Kremlin Report, which included all members of Dmitry Medvedev’s government.

According to the American legislation, persons on the sanctions list are prohibited from entering the territory of the United States. Also, all US companies are prohibited from maintaining contacts and business relations with them, and the assets of individuals under sanctions are subject to account freeze.

Despite this, even before the figurants of the sanction list managed to enter the United States. So, in February a visit of Russian law enforcement agencies representatives to the United States broke up a scandal. Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate Colonel-General Sergey Korobov fell under US sanctions at December 2016 out of accusations over American President’s elections interference, but he obtained the US visa. Naryshkin joined the blacklist of the US Department of the Treasury even earlier, in 2014, out of the events in Ukraine.

Despite the sanctions, both received permission for a working visit to the United States. The United States also welcomed FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, who was sanctioned by the EU countries and Canada. In Washington, Russian siloviki held some meetings with their American counterparts. So, Naryshkin met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

According to Anatoly Antonov, Russian Ambassador to the United States, Naryshkin's visit to the US was connected with Moscow and Washington's cooperation in the field of combating terrorism. The CIA Director confirmed this. Pompeo explained the negotiations with the Russian intelligence authorities under the sanctions in Washington "maintenance of Americans’ security."

The US Department of State explained that sanctions against the heads of Russian law enforcement agencies were suspended. "I can tell you in general - in a general matter, if something is considered to be in the national security interest of the United States, just like other countries, we have the ability to waive that so that people can come in to the United States," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert explained.

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