Russia accuses Romania of blocking its officials from telecommunications conference on orders from Washington

Maria Zaharova

Russia’s foreign ministry accused the Romanian government of deliberately denying Russian officials visas who were scheduled to attend a conference in Bucharest on orders from Washington.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the reason was to stop a Russian candidate being voted director of the ITU Development Bureau.

“It is clear that Bucharest is trying to avoid fair competition. This follows a political mandate from Washington, promoted by Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the director of the ITU Development Bureau… who is already known for her brazen use of administrative resources to promote her candidacy,” Zakharova said, Lenta-ru reported.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin was appointed director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union in 2018, the first ever woman to hold the position.

Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman  accused U.S. officials of abusing their position by “manipulating how entry visas were issued to Russia’s official representatives, openly showing their contempt for international legal acts.”

She said the purpose was to prevent the election of Russian candidate Rashid Ismailov as director.

But Romania’s embassy in Moscow said the presence of the Russians was  “a threat to national security.”

The ITU conference will be held in Bucharest from 26 September to 14 October.

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