Moscow’s delegation to the UN General Assembly has not been granted entry visas yet, according to a Russian envoy
Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, has asked the organization to persuade the US to grant visas for members of Moscow’s delegation to the UN General Assembly. The delegation will travel to New York for the high-level General Debate, which is scheduled to take place between September 20th and 26.
Nebenzia wrote the request and sent it to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Both Western and Russian media have seen the document.
In his message, the envoy pointed out that, with less than three weeks remaining before the General Assembly, not a single member of Russia’s delegation has received entry visas from the US. According to diplomats, Sergey Lavrov (Russian Foreign Minister) had made the necessary applications for the American Embassy in Moscow to be able to participate in the event.
“This is even more alarming since, for the last several months, the authorities of the US have been constantly refusing to grant entry visas to a number of Russian delegates assigned to take part in the official United Nations events,”The letter as it was read by media.
Nebenzia noted earlier this week that the Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev was unable to attend an UN Police Chiefs meeting because they were denied visas by the USA.
Russian diplomat cited 1947 UN/US agreement, which says that “visas shall be granted without charge and as promptly as possible… irrespective of the relations existing between the governments of the persons referred to… and the government of the US.”
Moscow’s already difficult relations with Washington have worsened since the Russian military operations in Ukraine. While the US has placed harsh economic sanctions upon Russia and supported Kiev, it also provided billions in military aid as well as intelligence.
Nebenzia urged Guterres “to once again emphasize to the authorities of the US that they must promptly issue requested visas for all Russian delegates and accompanying persons,” including the Russian journalists covering Lavrov’s trip to the General Assembly.
A spokesperson for the US mission to the UN, who wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name, assured AP that the US was taking its host country obligations seriously.
“To ensure timely processing, we repeatedly remind the Russian mission to the UN, as we do all other UN missions, that the US needs applications as early as possible,”According to the spokesperson.
The US mission representative linked the delays in visas for Moscow’s delegation to “Russia’s unwarranted actions against our embassy in Russia, including the forced termination of local and third country national staff, which have severely limited our staffing and therefore our capacity to process visas.”Moscow took these steps in response Washington’s moves.
When asked to comment on Nebenzia’s letter, UN spokesperson Florencia Soto Nino-Martinez said the organization remains in close contact with the US on the issues of visas for foreign delegations. “We are doing so in this case,”Elle confirmed.
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