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Russia blasts Finland for barring parliament speaker

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto during a joint press conference outside Moscow, on June 16, 2015Moscow on Wednesday slammed Finland for refusing entry to the speaker of Russia’s parliament in the latest high-profile spat between the Kremlin and the European Union over the blacklisting of officials due to the Ukraine crisis. The Finnish foreign ministry said Wednesday that it has barred six Russian officials, including the speaker of parliament’s Duma lower house Sergei Naryshkin, from attending an upcoming Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Helsinki. It is the first time Naryshkin — one of the most prominent of some 150 Russians and Ukrainians placed on an EU blacklist over their role in the Ukraine crisis — has been barred from entering the EU.

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