Alarming that US not issued visas for Russians to attend UNGA

TEHRAN, Sep. 03 (MNA) – Russia's UN ambassador says it’s alarming that less than three weeks before the annual meeting of world leaders at the UNGA not a single member of the 56-member Russian advance team and delegation has received a US entry visa.

Vassily Nebenzia said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres obtained Friday night by The Associated Press that “this is even more alarming since for the last several months the authorities of the United States have been constantly refusing to grant entry visas to a number of Russian delegates assigned to take part in the official United Nations events.”

The Russian ambassador stressed that the United States, as the host country of the United Nations, is legally required to issue visas, adding that applications to attend the high-level UN meetings starting Sept. 19 had been submitted to the US Embassy in Moscow.

Nebenzia asked Guterres “to once again emphasize to the authorities of the United States that they must promptly issue requested visas for all Russian delegates and accompanying persons,” including journalists covering Lavrov’s visit.

The Office of the UN Secretary-General has told TASS that the United Nations remains in active contact with the United States over visas for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s delegation to the General Assembly’s High-Level Week due later this month.

Commenting on Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya’s letter to UN Secretary-General, the secretary-general’s press service said, "The Secretary-General and other senior UN officials remain in close contact with the host country and with concerning missions to the UN, including the Russian Federation, with respect to issues under the UN-US Headquarters Agreement."

"We proactively engage with the US Mission on visas for delegations to upcoming UN meetings at Headquarters and liaise with the Mission on specific cases that are brought to our attention. We are doing so in this case," the office said.

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