United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres will keep a close eye on the situation with the issuance of US visas to Russian representatives to attend UN meetings in New York, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told TASS on Thursday.
Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday thatUN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is turning a blind eye to the US refusal to issue visas to Russian employees at the United Nations in New York. She also drew attention to instances when the United States does not extend visas to Russian employees already working in New York. She stressed that it is the UN secretary general who is the guarantor of the United States’ abidance by its commitments as the host country.
"The Secretary-General remains very concerned by delays in the issuance of visas by the host country to some representatives of the Russian Federation and other Member States to attend UN meetings in New York," Dujarric said. "For many months, the Secretary-General and the United Nations Legal Counsel have repeatedly conveyed their concerns and the legal position of the Organization to senior representatives of the host country. We also note that the matter was addressed by the Committee on Relations with the Host Country in its last report."
"The Secretary-General and his team will continue to follow this matter closely," he promised.
Since the start of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the United States has failed to issue entry visas to 18 Russian delegates, including those who were supposed to participate in the UNGA High-Level Week.
The issue was raised during an emergency session of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country. The committee’s final report contained a conclusion that the US had violated its commitments to the global organization.
Earlier in December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution urging the US to stop the practice of non-issuing or delaying visas to diplomats from certain countries, including Russia, arriving for its events. The decision was passed by consensus without voting.