Statement by Mr. Vladimir Yermakov, Head of the Russian delegation to the First Committee of the UNGA 73rd session, on organizational and procedural issues: «The U.S. as a host country has not so far given a visa to a member of the Russian delegation»
Dear Mr. Chair, Dear colleagues,
Our distinguished American colleagues have invented a new procedure - a “new disarmament instrument”. Now they have started to “disarm” delegations of their dialogue partners. Our American colleagues prove to follow some very interesting logic.
If you obediently follow the instructions from Washington and blindly support any American whim, it is only natural for you to get a visa for participation in the UN events.
The case is totally different, when you do defend your country’s sovereign interests and they, which is clear, should not necessarily coincide with the U.S. ones. Then you get problems with obtaining the U.S. visa to take part in the UN events in New York.
It is already for 4 months that Washington has been dragging the issuance of visa to a key figure of the Russian delegation to the First Committee – the head of section of the Russian MFA, in charge of the issues related to the First Committee.
We have an impression that Washington does not understand that the aim of the First Committee meetings is to look for mutually acceptable ways to strengthen international security, and not to blindly follow any American order as the so-called U.S. allies have been doing recently.
I would like to recall that the right to host the UN headquarters was given to the U.S. in the middle of the previous century when it pretended to be a responsible state. The U.S. took upon the obligation to contribute by all means to our collaboration in this common global organization. One of the basic functions of the host country is to issue visas to all the official representatives of delegations to the New York events.
But how does it look like in the reality? The U.S. is grossly violating its obligations. Washington shuts off the access to the UN to the representatives of certain delegations whose opinion it does not like. Is not it “a very strong and decent stance of a great power”? In fact, it turns out that the U.S. has suddenly decided to determine unilaterally which member states do deserve a place in the UN and which do not.
Does it mean that today’s U.S. position is so weak that the American diplomacy lacks stamina, wisdom, analysis and intellectual force to follow the norms of the international law or, at least, the fundamental rules of decent behavior in the interstate relations? Does it mean that the only thing that Washington retains in its arsenal is the grave violation of general human rules and the use of such dirty methods as denial of visas to the representatives of states going to attend the UN events?
We ask our American colleagues, as well as the Chairman of our forum, the Secretariat of our common organization and the UN Secretary-General - does it mean that the fundamental principles of our Organization have no longer any meaning for the U.S. as one of its founders?
During the recent 4 weeks have we been maintaining the direct contact with the Head of the U.S. delegation and with the leadership of the Department of State. We have also contacted the UN Secretariat and the Chairman of this forum.
Once again we call on the American side to change its mind and promptly issue the visa to their colleague - the young Russian diplomat, Mr. Konstantin Vorontsov, a key figure of the Russian delegation to the UN GA First Committee.
We request the UN Secretariat to report this gross violation of the UN Charter to the UN Secretary-General and record this request in the protocols of the First Committee of the UN GA 73rd session and put this issue under control. We call on the UN Secretariat not to turn a blind eye at the ongoing violations and to ensure the unimpeded access to the United Nations office in New York for the representatives of its member states.