Dalai-Lama may not visit Russia

Dalai Lama's visit to Russia scheduled for autumn 2002, may be cancelled, diplomatic sources reported.

According to the sources, the situation surrounding the tour will probably force the Russian side to decline to arrange the Buddhist leader's trip with relevant visa consequences.

Dalai Lama XIV /Tenzin Gyatso/ was scheduled to visit Russia's Buddhist regions (Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva) in September.

Dalai Lama paid his last unofficial visit to Russia in 1992. He conducted a service in the Russia's Buddhist Centre - the Ivolginsk Datsan /monastery/ in Buryatia and met representatives of the Buryat Buddhist community.

Since 1960, Dalai Lama has been in exile in India (the town of Dharamsala, the state of Himachal Pradesh), where he had to move from the Chinese province of Tibet, a traditional Buddhist centre. The official Chinese authorities do not acknowledge Dalai Lama and come out against his activities in other countries, which are allegedly aimed at spliting China. Beijing believes that the Buddhist leader is struggling for Tibet's independence under the cover of religion.

Dalai Lama's visit to Mongolia where he was expected on September 3th till September 17th, 2001, was cancelled due to Moscow's refusal to grant him a Russian transit visa, which was necessary to arrive in Mongolia. In addition, Dalai Lama's visit to Russia's Buddhist regions was also postponed then.

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