BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's foreign ministry has defended a visit by a Russian legislator who is on a European Union sanctions list, saying restrictions do not apply for international meetings.
State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin arrived in Romania on Friday for a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
The foreign ministry said Romania was "obliged" to allow Naryshkin enter Romania because the EU travel ban establishes "that restrictions do not apply in the situation where a state member has obligations of international law, which comes from a multilateral accord which confers privileges and immunity."
Naryshkin spoke to the Romanian Senate later and lawmakers representing the ethnic Ukrainian community walked onto the Parliament floor where he was speaking to protest his presence.
They held a banner saying: "2008-Georgia, 2014-Ukraine, Who's next? Putin Stop."
Naryshkin carried on with his speech, without further interruption.