Czech lawmakers complain of delay at Moscow's airport

AP News
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Posted: Oct 22, 2015 10:11 AM

PRAGUE (AP) — A delegation of Czech lawmakers was stuck at a Moscow airport and prevented by Russian authorities from boarding their plane.

A Czech government passenger jet landed at Sheremetyevo Airport Thursday to allow representatives of the Czech embassy to board.

Petr Gazdik, deputy speaker of Parliament's lower house and the delegation's head, said the lawmakers were on the way to Russia's Ulyanovsk to unveil monuments to the Czech troops who took control of almost the entire Trans-Siberia railway at the end of World War I.

Gazdik said the Russian authorities have given no explanation and the Czechs sent a diplomatic note to complain after being stuck at Sheremetyevo for several hours before they were allowed to take off.

He told Czech public television he considered it "a very serious diplomatic incident."

The Czech Foreign Ministry said the delay was caused by "administrative reasons." It said in a statement it was working with the Russian side "to prevent similar misunderstandings in the future."