The US has not issued visas for Lavrov’s UN delegation

Russia has requested 56 visas from the United States for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his delegation, who are due to travel to New York for the annual session of the UN General Assembly this month, but has so far received nonereports “Reuters”.

In a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasyl Nebenzya states that this is “worrying”as over the past few months Washington has “continuously refused to issue visas” to a number of Russian delegates to other UN forums.

The United States takes seriously its responsibilities as the host country of the United Nations, said a spokesman for the State Department, who stressed that according to US law, visa data is confidential and cannot comment on individual cases.

Under the UN’s 1947 “headquarters agreement,” the US is generally required to allow foreign diplomats access to the UN. Washington, however, claims that mto refuse visas for reasons related to “security, terrorism and foreign policy”.

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We annually process hundreds of visas for delegates from the Russian Federation to UN events, the State Department spokesman said, adding that applications should be submitted as early as possible to ensure timely processing.

“This is particularly important because of Moscow’s unjustified actions against our embassy in Russia, including the forced redundancies of staff, which severely limited them and therefore limited our capacity to process visas,” he explained.

Nebenzia points out that the necessary applications have been submitted to the US Embassy in Moscow.

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The US has long barred Russian UN diplomats and visiting Russian delegations from traveling more than 25 miles (40 km) from New York without Washington’s prior approval.

In February Washington imposed sanctions on Sergey Lavrov, accusing him of being “directly responsible for Russia’s unprovoked and illegal further incursion into Ukraine.” The sanctions freeze any assets Lavrov may have in the U.S. and generally bar American citizens from working with him.

The 56 visas requested by Moscow are for a team of diplomats to prepare the arrival of Lavrov and his delegation for the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, which begins on September 20.

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