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US still considering Russian lawmaker's visa request to take part in UN General Assembly

September 24, 2015, 13:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to reports, State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov included in US sanctions list may get a restricted visa to participate in the UN General Assembly session
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. The United States is still considering the request of State Duma deputy Alexey Pushkov for a visa to participate in the UN General Assembly session as part of the Russian delegation, an American official familiar with the situation told TASS on Thursday.

"This request for a visa is still being considered," the official said adding that "the United States is committed to its obligations as a host country in the framework of UN."

Russian media reported earlier that State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov, who is included in US sanctions lists against Russian individuals and companies, may get a restricted visa for participation in the UN General Assembly as part of the Russian delegation.

Pushkov said earlier in September that the United States should issue him a visa for participation in the UN General Assembly in accordance with their international commitments. "If Americans remain committed to their international obligations, which, unfortunately, does not happen all the time, then there should be no problems," the Duma deputy said.

At the end of August, the official portal of legal information published the president’s order saying he would lead the Russian delegation at the 70th UN General Assembly session. The delegation includes Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his deputy Gennady Gatilov, presidential aide Yury Ushakov, chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov, Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s UN Envoy Vitaly Churkin, chief of the Foreign Ministry’s department of international organizations Alexander Pankin, and director of the Non-Proliferation and Weapons Control Department Mikhail Ulyanov. The Russian leader will make a speech at the UN General Assembly session on September 28.

Latest incidents with denying entry to Russian officials

On July 1, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said that Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin will be denied entry to Finland to participate in the PA OSCE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) session in Helsinki on July 5-9. The decision was explained by the fact that the State Duma speaker was included in EU’s "blacklist" of sanctioned officials.

Naryshkin later announced that the Russian delegation as a whole will not participate in the PA OSCE session in Helsinki, where it planned to put forward draft resolutions on impermissibility of sanctions against parliamentarians and countering Nazism rehabilitation. However, the Duma speaker confirmed that Russia plans to participate in the next PA OSCE session in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator. The PA OSCE session in Ulan Bator takes place on September 15-18.

This was not the first incident when a Russian official had problems with participating in an international event abroad. The delegation of Russian parliamentarians led by Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko planned to participate in the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament from August 31 to September 2 in New York. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the visit of the Russian delegation to New York became impossible after the United States provided a restricted visa for Matviyenko. "In particular, visa does not allow to participate in any meetings or over events in the framework of the Inter-Parliamentary Union," the foreign ministry said.

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