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Russia to return to issue of moving UN First Committee's sessions if visa problems persist

Since the start of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, the United States have not issued visas to 18 Russian delegates

THE UNITED NATIONS, November 8. /TASS/. Russia will keep the right to raise the issue of moving the sessions of the UN General Assembly's First Committee from New York if Washington's discriminatory visa issuance policy persists, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Andrey Belousov said on Friday.

"We keep the right to continue to raise the issue of national delegations' access to UN events and headquarters on all platforms, including those on disarmament," Belousov said. "If we don't see any changes in the US discrimnatory and unacceptable policy, we will definitely return to the issue of moving next sessions of the First Committee to other places, and we will insist on this until the issue is resolved," he added.

The discussion of this issue took place after the First Committee rejected Russia's proposal to consider the possibility of moving its sessions from the United States if the UN and Washington fail to resolve the visa issues of Russian delegates. "Therefore, the committee kind of agreed with the discrimnatory policy of the US," Belousov added noting that he mostly means "those who voted against the proposal."

"The issue thus arises — are there any guarantess that our delegation will get US visas next year to take part in the First Committee sessions. We don't have such guarantees," he said. "In such conditions, it is hard for the Russian delegation and some others who fully supports our position, to adopt the committee's program for 2020," he noted.

At the same time, the Russian diplomat said that Moscow agreed to vote for adopting the committee's program for 2020 in order to avoid violating the traditional consensus on this matter. "As a country that is responsible and interested in continuing topical and constructive dialogue on issues of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, Russia is once again ready to make a step toward the opinion of most delegations and support the committee's plan for next year," he concluded.

Since the start of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, the United States have not issued visas to 18 Russian delegates.