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No Russian assurances for travellers' safety

Thu 8 Aug 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Murray McCully The government has not received any assurances that glbti New Zealanders will be safe in Russia and has not raised the plight of gay Russians with that country, judging by a statement by Foreign Minister Murray McCully. In recent weeks Greens MP Jan Logie has urged Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to use diplomatic channels to raise concerns about Russia's crushing of LGBTI rights, and to ensure New Zealanders are safe in the nation. She has voiced particular concerns about the safety of gay athletes, such as NZ's Blake Skjellerup, and spectators attending the forthcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. In a statement made to Logie today McCully says the NZ Embassy in Moscow has merely raised the travel issue and has sought "assurances that our athletes and supporters attending the Winter Olympics" will not be subject to what he calls "undue harassment." He does not indicate that any such assurances have been received, and states that "the Embassy will continue to engage with the Russian authorities on this issue." McCully says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade "will continue to provide consular assistance to New Zealanders overseas, including New Zealanders traveling to Sochi. He also suggests glbti travelers "heed our travel advisory warnings." Daily News has asked the Minister for responses to a number of questions relating to the issue of the plight on gay Russians, New Zealand's stance and the situation regarding glbti travellers and athletes in Russia. He continues to remain silent.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 8th August 2013 - 6:25pm

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