Rebuffed Again: Russian Nationalist Refused Request to Enter Switzerland
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Rebuffed Again: Russian Nationalist Refused Request to Enter Switzerland

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In an unprecedented move, the Swiss government has refused to grant an entry visa to Russian ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

“This is the very first time Switzerland refuses to give a visa to such a high-ranking politician,” a government spokesman said of the rejection of the request by Zhirinovsky, who last year obtained a visa to enter Switzerland.

Last week, the German Embassy in Moscow refused a visa request for Zhirinovsky to visit Germany next month.

Zhirinovsky, who leads Russia’s nationalistic Liberal Democratic Party, has repeatedly made headlines with his anti-Semitic views and his calls to regain the former glory of the Russian empire.

Late last year, Zhirinovsky made waves by entering Austria and staying at an alpine resort with a friend who was a former member of the Nazi SS.

According to the daily newspaper Le Journal de Geneva, the Swiss government made the decision because of Zhirinovsky’s extreme right-wing views. The paper also stated that the decision by Swiss authorities marks a new direction in the government’s attitude toward those who openly espouse racist ideologies.

In September, Switzerland will hold a public referendum on whether to enact legislation that will make it a crime to discriminate against ethnic groups or incite racial hatred.

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