U.S. Republican Chris Smith stated that he was denied a Russian visa, presumably because of his involvement in the development of the notorious Magnitsky Act, Foreign Policy reports.
"I was shocked. During the worst days of the Soviet Union I went there repeatedly," Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, was quoted by Foreign Policy as saying. "The Magnitsky bill is the reason I didn't get the visa. This is the first time."
Smith also told the publication that the State Department and the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, tried to help him, although to no avail.
Chris Smith is one of the authors of the so-called Magnitsky Act, which introduced restrictions on the Russian officials, who are associated with the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea