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Kross to again visit USA despite visa ban

Eerik-Niiles Kross PHOTO: Peeter Langovits / Postimees

Barred from getting a US visa, Riigikogu member Eerik-Niiles Kross (Reform) travels to New York at end of March with special visa to attend a special session at UN general assembly regarding disarmament and arms control. 

Despite the visa ban, Mr Kross did visit the USA twice at end of last year and the upcoming trip will be his third as member of Estonian parliament.

This week, the Riigikogu filed an application to foreign ministry for the latter to write a note to the US Embassy foe a visa to be granted to Eerik-Niiles Kross.

Mr Kross told Postimees he would be attending a disarmament session on March 28th to April 1st and the opening week of disarmament committee schedule for April 4th to 22nd. The Riigikogu applies for a visa from March 27th to April 11th. At the sessions, Mr Kross is representing Estonia as Riigikogu member upon invitation by Estonian representation at UN.

Last year, Mr was in the USA for UN general assembly 1st committee session in November, and with foreign affairs committee delegation in December. «For these trips I was issued the usual G-visa for representatives of states visiting the UN,» said Mr Kross.

He added that despite the ban he has had no problems not extra procedures, and crossing the border has been smooth.

As for the need for participation, Mr Kross cited Estonia applying for non-permanent member of UN security council for 2020–2021. «As related to that, it has been decided to pay increasing attention to the UN and raise activity and profile especially in security-related UN formats,» said Mr Kross.

Mr Kross claims to not know why he is under visa ban in the United States. In a letter to fellow party members, he has assured: «I definitely have not done anything that might damage US interests. I consider it likely that the actual reason is some false information planted with the Americans and believed by somebody in the US system. I assume the information has been forwarded by Russia, probably by an agent of theirs. Probably, the input was given to Americans in Tbilisi or Tallinn.»

A former intelligence coordinator, Mr Kross was on Interpol wanted list starting October 2013 but his name disappeared from the website in February 2014.

Last week, Mr Kross encountered an inconvenience at Chişinău international airport as he arrived for a visit in Moldova as Riigikogu member. Mr Kross was forced to wait at passport check for a time longer than the usual, until border policemen took extreme care to inspect his personal data. Afterwards, the Moldova border police officially apologised for taking 12 minutes to check the personal data of Mr Kross. The border police substantiated the delay by the personal data of Mr Kross having partially coincided with these of another person.

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