October 3, 2022

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Russia alarmed at no US visas to attend UN leaders meeting

Russia’s UN ambassador says it’s “alarming” that less than three weeks before the annual meeting of world leaders at the UN General Assembly not a single member of the 56-member Russian advance team and delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov 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 application to attend the high-level UN meetings starting September 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.

Already bad relations between the United States and Russia have worsened dramatically since Russia’s February 24 invasion of  Ukraine. The Biden administration sees Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine as the most acute and immediate threat to international stability, and it has been leading an international coalition supporting Ukraine.