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Make US ‘behave decently’: Lavrov tells Guterres over UNGA visa debacle

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on during a joint news conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias at the Foreign Ministry in Athens, Greece, October 26, 2020. (File photo by Reuters)

The Russian government has called on the United Nations to allow for Moscow’s equal participation in the upcoming 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) in spite of the US denying it access.

In a notice letter sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US government is neglecting its responsibilities as the host country of the organization’s headquarters.

He stressed that Washington needs to “behave decently” in granting visas to Russian authorities to have their equal participation in the assembly.

The foreign minister noted that “Russia cannot be unrepresented at the UN, and Western countries are not allowed to decide these issues.”

“As for the level of our presence there – whether it will be a delegation from Moscow or, as you said, our American colleagues will prohibit the arrival of our delegation in the spirit of their liberty – we’ll see,” he added.

The development comes on the heels of UN attempts to suspend Russia's membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) per US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s request.

Meanwhile, Lavrov also referred to the UN’s right to intervene, whenever Washington violates its duties as the host country.

However, the top Russian official noted that Guterres has been “unable or unwilling” to intervene in recent years, stressing that Moscow is “reminding him that he has it [the right], and it should not just lie in his pocket, but actively used.”

He also called on the US “to avoid the impression that it is afraid of discussions, that it is trying to cut off channels of discussion in disputes, discussions, negotiations of countries whose positions contradict American ones.”

Apart from suspending Russia from diplomatic events, Washington has imposed a raft of financial and economic sanctions against Moscow over its offensive in Ukraine.

In its latest attempt, the Biden administration has targeted even Russian elites and billionaires, imposing new sanctions in the fallout of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas.

The conflict in Ukraine, which recently entered its sixth month with still no end in sight, was launched in February with the aim of safeguarding the motherland against NATO's expansionist moves, defending the pro-Russian residents in Donbas against the Kiev regime's atrocities, and to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.


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