Lavrov to Guterres on UNGA visa debacle: “Make US behave”
The Russian FM is demanding Secretary-General Guterres to allow for Russia's equal participation in the upcoming 77th UN General Assembly in spite of the US denying it access.
The Russian administration has sent a notice letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres concerning the United States' neglecting of its responsibilities as the host country of the organization's headquarters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“Russia cannot be unrepresented at the UN”
Lavrov stated that with the US being the host country of the UN Headquarters, it has the legal obligation to all members of the organization to take the extra mile so work can proceed smoothly and participation among all members is equal, adding that Russia sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Guterres, calling attention to his responsibility to require the US to "behave decently."
This comes after the United Nations Human Rights Council attempted to suspend Russia's membership in the sub-organization per US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's request.
In response to a question regarding Russia's participation in the UN General Assembly this September, Lavrov stressed that "Russia cannot be unrepresented at the UN, and Western countries are not allowed to decide these issues.", adding: "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."
UN Secretary-General should exercise right to intervene
Lavrov additionally referenced the agreement reached between the UN and the US about the residence of the headquarters of the organization that indicates the right of the Secretary-General to initiate intervention if Washington violates its duties. However, he noted that Secretary-General Guterres has been “unable or unwilling” to do so 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."
"Let's hope that after all, the United States realizes that even for its reputation in the international arena it is important 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," Lavrov concluded, reminding Guterres of when the Obama administration in the final weeks of its term in the White House illegally seized some diplomatic properties from Russia.