UNITED NATIONS, October 7. /TASS/. The Russian side believes it would be premature to launch substantive activity of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly since the US authorities have not yet settled the situation around the non-issuance of visas to the Russian delegation, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN Geneva Office and other international organizations Andrei Belousov said in a speech at the UN Headquarters in New York on Monday.
"I believe it will be ill-timed to launch substantive activity of the First Committee unless we see these moves," he said, saying that this could be "the issuance of visas, or other forms that the American side will deem possible".
"The US is ignoring its commitments under the 1947 agreement with the United Nations," the diplomat stressed.
"We have to note that things have not changed at all in the past four days. The US authorities turn a deaf ear to our appeals to change them and take real action to remedy the situaiton," he added.
"This situation has a rather broad context, is not limited to the issuance or non-issuance of the US visas to members of this or that delegation," he remarked. According to Belousov, the point at issue is the compliance of the host country with its commitments, one of which is "to ensure unimpeded access for representatives of foreign states to the UN headquarters and their participation in different events under the auspices of the world organization," he stressed.
"With this in view, I believe we must ask the esteemed American colleagues to inform the First Committee about the efforts the US authorities are making to change, to improve the situation," Belousov said. "Besides, we want to reiterate our appeal to the American colleagues to meet with the delegations of those countries that fell victims to these short-sighted policies, as well as to lend an ear to the appeals that they are receiving both from the delegations and from different UN involved in reviewing this problem," he added.
US visas were not issued to a number of Russian delegates to a September session of the UN General Assembly. Among them were Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international committee of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, and ten foreign ministry officials. In the wake of this scandal, some media outlets suggested relocating the UN headquarters to another country.
Russia's First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky suggested moving sessions of the UN First Committee to Vienna or Geneva in 2020.