Home Travel & Adventure Russian Authorities Deny Visas to Italian Deputies Planning Tribute Visit to Navalny,...

Russian Authorities Deny Visas to Italian Deputies Planning Tribute Visit to Navalny, 14-Day Wait Ends in Disappointment


Three Italian deputies who applied for a diplomatic Russian visa in February have had their visa requests denied after a 14-day wait. This delay is particularly uncommon, given that diplomatic visas typically take a maximum of a few days to process.

The news was shared by the deputies themselves, who took to social media to discuss the matter and raise concerns about “Russia filtering entries and grants visas to those who go to praise Putin,” SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Benedetto Della Vedova from +Europa, Lia Quartapelle of the Democratic Party and Ivan Scarlarotto of Italia Viva, who are supporters of the Ukrainian resistance, had requested a visa to attend the funeral of Putin’s political rival, Alexei Navalny, which was held on March 1, 2024, at Borisov cemetery in Moscow.

Italian Deputies Deem Their Visa Rejection as ‘Extremely Serious’

In a joint press conference, the three Italian deputies revealed that their passports were returned and their visas were rejected, with no reason cited for the denial.

Today, 14 days after the visa request was submitted to the Russian consulate to be able to attend Navalny’s funeral and – later – to place a flower on his grave, the agency I turned to together with Lia Quartapelle and Ivan Scalfarotto informs us that our passports were returned without the visa and without any reason. 

Benedetto Della Vedova, Italian Deputy

The trio considers ‘extremely serious’ their visa rejection, finding it inconvenient due to their governmental positions, while during the same days, visas were granted to other Italian citizens and personalities, likely implying that actress Ornella Muti and street artist Jorit were in Russia for the grand opening of Sochi Youth Forum.

Quartapelle also noted that before she and her counterparts were denied visas, Russia denied visas to David Sassoli, who was president of the EU Parliament, and to some British parliamentarians.

The Russian Embassy certainly appears to be unpunished but also embarrassed. Embarrassed at not being able to provide an explanation, embarrassed at having denied visas to three citizens and representatives of Italian institutions, clashing with her own reassuring narrative of Russia as a neighbouring country and friend of Italy and Italians. 

Della Vedova

The three political figures in the Italian Parliament have vowed to turn to the Foreign Ministry and the President of the Chamber to protect “the dignity of the institutions they represent”, as was said in the press release published on social media.

Ivan Scarlarotto of Italia Viva had previously pointed out that he would not want this abnormal delay on their visas and lack of communication regarding the lengthy process to be in any way related to the fact that their announced visit to Russia was being made for the purpose of paying tribute to Navalny by placing a bouquet of flowers on his grave.

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