Madonna banned from Russia after supporting Pussy Riot?

madonna-billionaire-club-gi.jpg Madonna might find herself barred from returning to Russia after voicing her support for the Pussy Riot singers jailed for protesting President Putin while in Moscow and St Petersburg last August as part of her MDNA world tour.

Huffington Post reports that the foreign ministry has ruled that the diva's visa did not allow her to make money during her visit to the country. St Petersburg legislator Vitaly Milonov claimed that her concert constituted "illegal commercial activity."

Milonov said, "Those who applied for a visa for [Madonna] face a fine of 500,000 rubles. It has to be determined whether she filed the documents herself. The question of 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."

The foreign ministry said that the singer failed to obtain a work permit, adding that since she was invited by the culture ministry on a single-entry three month visa, her visit should have been limited to the purpose of "cultural ties."

It appears, however, that this may just be retaliation for Madonna speaking out against the country, as Yevgeny Finkelshtein, president of tour organizers PMI said, "All over the world, there is such a concept as an artist's visa. The work visa that Milonov was insisting on would take half a year to obtain and would require a work contract." Since the singer was on tour, and therefore not specifically hired to give her Russian performances, there is no contract that would serve the basis for the work visa.
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