THE UNITED NATIONS, November 8. /TASS/. The UN General Assembly's First Committee on disarmament has voted against Russia's proposal to consider moving its sessions from the United States if the UN and Washington fail to resolve visa issues of Russian delegates, a TASS correspondent reported. Eighteen countries supported Russia's proposal, 69 states voted against it, and another 72 countries abstained. Among those who supported the proposal were China, Kazakhstan, Syria, Iran, several Latin American and African countries.
Russia suggested to request a report from the UN secretary general by 1 April 2020 about alternative locations for holding the 2020 sessions of the First Committee, including Geneva and Vienna, if no progress is reached on the visa issues.
When discussing the draft co-authored by Angola, Burundi, Nicaragua, Syria and Russia, Moscow suggested to make amendments to the initial proposal and specify the steps needed to resolve the problem, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Andrey Belousov said. "However, we think that this serious problem - access of national delegations to UN events - should remain in focus of our committee and General Assembly, so we suggested a step-by-step approach," Belousov noted.
The diplomat stressed that the new draft is "aimed at allowing the UN Secretariat and secretary general to once again make efforts to settle the visa problem." "On the other hand, we are giving the US another opportunity to reconsider their policy toward issuing visas to delegates from certain countries who plan to participate in UN events," he noted.
Since the start of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, the United States have not issued visas to 18 Russian delegates.