29 Sep 2019 19:47

Incident over denial of visas to Russian delegates to UNGA part of U.S. electoral competition - Zakharova

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 29 (Interfax) - The U.S. authorities have issued visas to a number of members of the Russian delegation to attend the United Nations General Assembly, after the situation became known, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured the Russian side that the decision had not been made at the top level, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"They partially rectified the situation; visas were issued to a number of members of the delegation, but this has already made no sense to come there, and it was unreasonable to arrive there on the last day," Zakharova said on Channel One television.

At the talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Pompeo assured the Russian side that neither he, nor the U.S. president were aware of the situation surrounding visas, she said.

"The point is in this awful electoral process, which is becoming tougher and tougher in the U.S. from year to year from the point of view of international relations," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson added.

It was reported last Tuesday that part of Russian delegation seeking to travel to New York were denied U.S. visas. The U.S. embassy in Moscow declined to comment on the situation to Interfax, describing it as "an individual case."

The U.S. thus violates its international commitments to allow foreign politicians to travel to that country to attend the UN General Assembly, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed protest to the deputy chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Russia in connection with this situation.