Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Summons Senior U.S. Diplomat Over UN Visa Row

Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS

Russia on Tuesday summoned a senior U.S. diplomat in Moscow to protest over what it said was Washington's unacceptable refusal to issue visas to members of a Russian delegation traveling to the United Nations General Assembly.

The Kremlin promised a tough response and said Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry, but Russian news agencies said that Huntsman's deputy had gone instead.

Moscow said 10 members of a Russian delegation traveling to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York had not been issued visas by U.S. authorities.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said U.S. officials had returned the relevant visa application documents saying they had been submitted too early.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Embassy.

Zakharova said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would raise the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York.

She described the U.S. move as a violation of Washington's international commitments.

"This is an outrageous example of disrespect by the United States of America for members of the United Nations, as well as a failure to fulfill its obligations as host country to the world organization," Zakharova said on Facebook.

"Another act of disregard for the rights of sovereign states and international organizations and the inability to somehow comply with their own international legal obligations will be the central theme of the conversation between Lavrov and Pompeo in New York."

U.S.-Russia ties remain strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine as well as allegations of Russian interference in U.S. politics, which Moscow denies.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more