Oliver Loode – is an activist of the international Finno-Ugric movement and Member of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) for the term 2014-2016.
This Thursday (13.12.2018) I was on the way to Russia, to attend a Finno-Ugric language activism seminar in the town of Kingissep (Leningrad Oblast). At the Ivangorod border crossing station I was informed that, at the initiative of Russia’s federal security service (FSB), I have received an entry ban to the Russian Federation until October 25, 2073. The legal basis for this entry ban is Russia’s Federal law no. 114 F3, Article 27, point 1. Reasons listed there include weakening of Russia’s defence capabilities, endangering national security, disturbing public order and/or presenting a public health hazard. No more detailed reasons were provided. At all times, Russian border officials behaved professionally and even with a certain courtesy.
I have no issues with this decision – as a sovereign country, Russia determines itself whom it allows into its country and whom it does not, and for how long. I don’t consider that any of my rights have been violated, hence have not nor will appeal the decision.
What I find impressive though is the length of the entry ban. 2073 is 55 years from now, and if I am alive then, will be 99 years old. It seems that FSB has done its homework and indeed knows that my family history and genetic makeup makes it quite likely that I will be alive then. My father passed away last year at the age of 94, and my Mom is going strong at 87, doing Nordic walking twice a week to keep even fitter. So in that sense there is a good chance for me to return to Russia in 2073.
What I am more concerned than my own longevity, is that of the Russian Federation in its present form. The fact that the world’s 2nd strongest military power considers a civil society activist / human rights defender like myself a threat, shows something about the true strength of this supposed superpower.
Time will tell who will survive whom. In the meantime let me just express my affection for the great Russian culture – especially classical Russian literature, music – which is second to none; to my many friends in Russia, and to my kindred Finno-Ugric brothers and sisters living in Russia. No formal entry bans will take away the bonds that we have built up over these past years.
Oliver-Loode, FSB, entry ban, repressions