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Moscow concerned about not receiving visas to travel to UN General Assembly

Russia expressed concern, in a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), that it had not yet received any visa from the United States for the visit in September to the UN General Assembly of its delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, according to the text seen Friday by Agence France-Presse.

“On the date of 1is September, none of the 56 Russian representatives (…) received an entry visa for the United States” in the run-up to the General Assembly’s high-level week from September 20 to 26 in New York, writes the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, in this letter addressed to Antonio Guterres. “The same situation exists for the journalists and the crew members of our minister’s flight”.

“It is all the more worrying that, in recent months, the American authorities have repeatedly refused to grant visas to a number of Russian delegates to participate in official UN events”he says, calling on the United States to respect “their legal obligations” and to “tune quickly” visas requested.

According to an agreement dating from 1947 between the United States and the UN, the United States must not prevent the transit to the United Nations headquarters of representatives of member states.

In February, just after Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States announced sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, including a ban on entry into their territory.

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“The United States takes seriously its obligations as a host country of the UN”assured a spokesperson for the US State Department to AFP, noting that the process of granting visas being confidential, it was not possible to comment on specific cases.

Given the large number of requests to be processed each year, “To ensure timely processing, we constantly remind the Russian mission to the UN, and other missions, that the United States should receive applications as soon as possible”he added. “This is particularly important because of Russia’s unjustified actions against our embassy in Russia”which has limited staff and “our ability to process visa applications”he insisted.

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