The Russian embassy in the US has dismissed claims by US Republican Senator Ron Johnson that he was denied entry to the country over his scathing criticism of the Kremlin. The lawmaker had not applied for a visa, it said.

In a strongly worded statement on Monday, Johnson claimed that his visit to Russia as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation was about to be derailed after he failed to get a green light from the Russian authorities.

“Unfortunately, Russian officials continue to play diplomatic games with this sincere effort and have denied me entrance to Russia”.

The statement implied that Johnson’s sharp rhetoric towards Moscow was the reason why he was supposedly barred from the country. “Regardless of this petty affront, I will continue to advocate a strong and resolute response to Russian aggression – and frank dialogue when possible,” he said.

By the way, the senator did not apply for a visa at our embassy and did not inform [us] about his plans to visit Russia.

The embassy said that, judging by the tone of Johnson’s remarks, it is “unlikely one can seriously take his statements of alleged intentions to restore direct dialogue” with Russia.

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