Accusation comes after Washington refused to grant a visa to Russia’s interior minister to attend a UN summit
The US has neglected its obligation as the nation hosting the UN headquarters when it refused to grant visas to Russia’s interior minister and other members of his delegation, Moscow has argued. Vladimir Kolokoltsev had hoped to join a UN summit for interior ministers with his colleagues.
“Because of the American side’s actions, the participation in the summit of the Russian delegation headed by interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has been called off,” Russia’s permanent representative at the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said Thursday.
The diplomat went on to describe Washington’s refusal to issue visas to the Russian officials as “Yet another flagrant US violation of its obligations” under the 1947 agreement regarding the headquarters of the UN.
Nebenzia stressed that giving access to the international organization’s premises is not a privilege, but rather Washington’s obligation under international law.
The US is refusing visas to Russian officials for the second time in a row.
In late July, Andrey Krutskih, the director of the international information security department in the country’s foreign ministry, was denied entry to the US, where he had planned to take part in a UN session.
On top of this, Washington has yet to issue visas for Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is to head the country’s delegation at the UN General Assembly, which kicks off on September 13. Russian officials claim that even though Moscow requested visas in advance, the American authorities have yet to issue them.
Nebenzia along with his deputy Dmitry Polyansky urged Washington to launch an Arbitral Tribunal against Washington for repeated visa refusals.
Commenting on the latest such instance on Thursday, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that the “UN continually raises concern with Russia about visa issuance for Russian diplomats attending UN.” The international organization will “continue to do it,” he added, as quoted by TASS agency.
Under an accord between the US and the UN, Washington should not obstruct visits by representatives and officials of the member states to the organization’s New York headquarters.