Madonna facing Russia ban as officials accuse her of visa violation
Madonna might not be allowed to visit Russia again anytime soon after officials ruled the singer violated the terms of her visa during last trip to Moscow and St Petersburg.
According to Russian daily Izvestia, the nation’s foreign ministry has ruled Madonna failed to get a work permit that would have allowed her for-profit shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg last summer.
That, in turn, might make it harder for her to get back into the country later.
Madonna’s visa reportedly limited her trip to “cultural ties,” as quoted by The Moscow News.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying in a statement: “If a foreign national’s activity in Russia is aimed at making a profit, including through commercial performances, the said national must receive a work permit from the Federal Migration Service, and therefore must be issued a normal work visa, with the purpose of the visit stated as work for hire.”
Foreign Ministry officials were asked to look into Madonna’s visa situation by St. Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who tells Russian newspaper Izvestia: “Those who applied for a visa for Louise Ciccone [Madonna] face a fine of 500,000 rubles [$15,885.00]. It has to be determined whether [Madonna] filed the documents herself.”
“The question of the legality of Madonna’s visit to our country will also come up, and next time it will be a lot more difficult to get a visa.”
Vitaly Milonov had challenged whether Madonna’s visit was legal after she advocated gay rights and defended jailed feminist punk group Pussy Riot.
A lawsuit by anti-gay groups claiming Madonna broke Vitaly Milonov’s law was dismissed by a Russian judge last November.
Now, Vitaly Milonov reportedly wants to see Madonna fined $16.7 million. Last December he also accused Lady Gaga of breaking the law at her St. Petersburg concert.