Germany protested to Russia on Monday over Moscow's refusal to let a conservative German lawmaker into the country, a decision the Foreign Ministry criticized as unacceptable, in the latest sign of East-West tensions over the Ukraine crisis.
Karl-Georg Wellmann, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and head of the German-Ukraine parliamentary group, had called Russia a "warmonger" earlier this year for supporting separatist forces in Ukraine, which Moscow denies.
Wellmann, who has called for tougher sanctions against Russia, told Reuters he spent the whole of Sunday night in the transit section of a Moscow airport and flew home the next morning, having been told he was not allowed to enter the country until 2019. He said no reason was given.
He said that he had a diplomatic passport to enter Russia, and had planned to meet Russian and German embassy officials.
"I wasn't planning to meet any opposition leaders or demonstrators," he told Reuters. "Evidently I was stopped by certain powers."