US violates UN agreement – Moscow
The US has neglected its obligation as the nation hosting the UN headquarters when it refused to grant visas to Russia’s interior minister and other members of his delegation, Moscow has argued. Vladimir Kolokoltsev and colleagues had intended to take part in a UN summit of interior ministers.
“Because of the American side’s actions, the participation in the summit of the Russian delegation headed by interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has been called off,” Russia’s permanent representative at the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said Thursday.
The diplomat went on to describe Washington’s refusal to issue visas to the Russian officials as “yet another blatant violation by the US of its obligations” under the 1947 agreement regarding the headquarters of the UN.
Nebenzia stressed that giving access to the international organization’s premises is not a privilege, but rather Washington’s obligation under international law.
This is not the first time that the US has refused to grant visas to Russian officials.
In late July, Andrey Krutskih, the director of the international information security department in the country’s foreign ministry, was denied entry to the US, where he had planned to take part in a UN session.
On top of this, Washington has yet to issue visas for Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is to head the country’s delegation at the UN General Assembly, which kicks off on September 13. According to Russian officials, even though Moscow had requested the visas well in advance, American authorities have not yet signaled their readiness to grant them.
Earlier, both Nebenzia and his deputy Dmitry Polyansky called on the UN to take action and launch an arbitral tribunal against Washington over its repeated visa denials to Russian officials.
Commenting on the latest such instance on Thursday, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that the “UN constantly raises the question with the host country over the non-issuance of visas to Russian diplomats arriving at the UN.” The international organization will “continue to do it,” he added, as quoted by TASS agency.
Under an accord between the US and the UN, Washington should not obstruct visits by representatives and officials of the member states to the organization’s New York headquarters.