Kosachev, Slutsky and Butin denied U.S. visas to attend UN General Assembly
Several Russian senators have been denied U.S. visas and won’t be able to attend the annual session of the UN General Assembly, Chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said.
"In violation of its commitments to international community, the U.S. side failed to issue visas for some members of the official delegation, including me, and a group of persons accompanying them, who were planning to fly today to New York to take part in the 74th session of the UN General Assembly," the legislator stressed, noting that head of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky and General Secretary of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergey Butin are among them.
"This is an outrageous act that can be neither explained nor justified," TASS cited Kosachev as saying.
According to him, a total of 10 members of the Russian delegation have been denied visas. The documents are at the U.S. Embassy now and the visas had not been issued by the senators’ scheduled departure.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin believes that the U.S. has broken international rules by failing to issue visas to Russian senators for taking part in the UN General Assembly’s session. Peskov has dismissed the situation as unacceptable, stressing that this demands a tough response by both Moscow and the United Nations.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said it was "an outrageous example of the United States’ disrespect for UN members and of its failure to fulfill obligations as a host country."
This week, the members of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, were expected to take part in the annual session of the UN General Assembly due on September 24-30.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Russia will voice protest against the United States in connection with this diplomatic scandal. "I think that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will raise this question at the meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, because the situation is unprecedented. The host country denied a visa to citizens of another country who do not go there to work at the UN General Assembly session. What's the point of holding meetings of the General Assembly in New York if official representatives of a UN member country cannot take part in these meetings," the senator drew attention.
"One can expect that Washington will issue a visa to our politicians right on the eve of the opening. This is quite possible, and it is understandable why they could do it - in order to disrupt the work of our delegation at the UN General Assembly. In this regard, we must raise the question of transferring the UN Headquarters from the United States to some other country, although this will not be easy. If Washington cannot ensure unhindered entry of official delegations, then it is not necessary to convene UN sessions in the U.S.," Vladimir Dzhabarov emphasized.