Lavrov arrives in NYC for UN General Assembly: Sputnik
After witnessing a delay in receiving visas to visit the UN General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in New York to take part in the high-level week of the 77th session.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in New York to take part in the high-level week of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
The Russian delegation's visit was delayed until the very last minute by issues with the logistics of obtaining US visas and logistics, which were made more difficult by the imposition of sanctions against the Russian aviation industry and the closure of their airspace by nearly all European countries, including the United States.
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Lavrov is scheduled to have about 20 meetings with leaders and foreign ministers of a number of states, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He is expected to speak from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on September 13 that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and a number of accompanying persons have been granted US visas to participate in the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
"Today, Lavrov and a number of accompanying persons have been granted [US] visas," the Ministry told reporters.
The Russian Ministry indicated that it expected the issuance of US visas for other members of the Russian delegation and prompt resolution of the logistical issues.
The session running from September 13 to 27 is the first UN General Assembly in-person gathering after the coronavirus pandemic which started in 2020.
Though the UN General Assembly session starts on September 13, the attention is mostly focused on the second week, particularly on September 20, when the so-called General Debate starts. On this day, speeches are expected to be delivered by all heads of state and government attending the session.
Visa ban is not a good idea: UN chief
In an interview for the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on September 19, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres relayed his hope that conflicts surrounding the EU's suspension of visa processing for Russian citizens will soon be resolved, stating that such measures do not amount to a good idea.
Guterres commented, "I think that the relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation have deteriorated in many aspects with the war in Ukraine, and obviously, I hope that with the end of the war, all these situations will disappear ... it is probably not a good idea not to allow them [Russian citizens] to move."
At the same time, during the interview, the UN Secretary-General explained that the use of an "arbitrage" to pressure the US to grant visas faster to Russian diplomats traveling to the UN Headquarters this month could escalate matters in the opposite direction, making it worse.
"We have been clear that visas must be granted to delegations of all countries, I seriously doubt that arbitrage would lead to a positive result, it would not change, probably to even get worse the attitude of the host country because even the arbitrage would not be able to have any compulsive measure," he clarified.
No visas, no 77th UNGA
Regarding the Russian delegates who are due to attend the 77th UN General Assembly in New York today, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said earlier this month that the visas for entry witnessed a delay.
On his part, Russian Deputy Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sputnik on September 19 that his country will urge Guterres to initiate arbitration against the US and "will continue to insist on its implementation" because of the delay in visa issuance for Russian delegates.
"Washington is openly using the issuance of visas as a 'filter' to prevent not only Russians from entering the UN platform, but representatives of a whole group of states whose 'guilt' lies only in the desire to pursue a sovereign and independent policy," the Russian diplomat said.