Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya has sent a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres to inform him that no members of the Russian delegation have been granted visas to attend the UN General Assembly in New York, state news agency TASS reports. The envoy demanded that the visas be granted as soon as possible.
“As of September 1, 2022, none of the 56 Russian representatives from the main and advance group have received entry visas to the United States. Similar situation exists with the accompanying journalists and crew members of the flight of our Minister,” the letter reads.
Nebenzya added that as a host nation, the US is obliged to ensure participation of all delegations to UN events.
The envoy notes that the US has regularly refused to grant visas to UN delegates from Russia. “Among the last examples of that kind are cancelled visits of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Kolokoltsev,” he said.
The High-Level Week of the UN General Assembly is set to begin on 20 September. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is set to speak at the session. The minister was previously banned from entering the US.
A month ago, Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held their first phone call since the start of the war in Ukraine. They discussed the grain agreement and the exchange of prisoners, US nationals Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.
The last time Blinken and Lavrov spoke before the war was on 15 February. On 23 February, one day before the invasion, Blinken cancelled a meeting with the Russian top diplomat planned for 24 February.