GENEVA, February 25. /TASS/. Russia calls on the United States to abandon the destructive practice of non-issuing US visas to delegates to United Nations events and implement its commitments under the US-UN headquarters agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"The United Nations Disarmament Commission failed to meet in 2019, for the first time in history, because the US authorities did not issue entry visas to the head and members of the Russian delegation," he said at the Geneva Disarmament Conference. "A comprehensive report on the results of the Disarmament Commission’s twelve-month work was not agreed because of the destructive behavior of the US delegation. Washington is apparently seeking to ideologize the work of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee."
Such actions, in his words, only disunite the world community, distracting attention from real problems of international security. "We call on the American colleagues to retreat to the normal course of respect-based interstate dialogue and cooperation in line with the United Nations Charter and the headquarters agreement with the United Nations," Lavrov stressed.
Problems with obtaining US entry visas have been impeding United Nations events at its headquarters for quite a time. The Disarmament Commission failed to hold its organizational session in 2019 due to this very reason.
Since the start of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, as many as 18 Russian delegates have had to skip UN events because the US had failed to issue entry visas in due time.
In December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling on the US side to stop the practice of visa issuance delays to diplomats from a number of nations, including Russia, Venezuela, and Iran.