Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy regarding non-issuance of visas to members of the Russian delegation at the third substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025



Distinguished colleagues,

We welcome all participants of the third substantive session of the OEWG on security of and in the use of information and telecommunication technologies (ICTs) 2021-2025. Our activity within this format is important and in demand more than ever against the growing threats to the information security.

Therefore, we have to take the floor in order to once again draw attention to the outrageous fact of the United States’ failure to fulfill its obligations to host and support the work of UN Headquarters. The Administration has refused one more time, in a rude manner, to issue visa for the head of our delegation, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on International Cooperation on Information Security, Ambassador Andrey Krutskikh. You know him well as a high-ranking diplomat, action-oriented negotiator, the founder of the dialogue on international security under the UN auspices. Washington has not issued visas for some other members of our delegation, including from competent agencies. Representatives of the non-governmental organizations accredited to the OEWG from Russia found themselves in a similar situation. Thus, they were cut off from the possibility of participation in the specialized session for non-state actors.

As far as we know, the practice of not issuing US visas is also applied to delegations from other countries. It is evident that the visas instrument is used in the most impertinent way with a view to undermine the efforts of international community on strengthening security in the use of ICTs. The UN Member States find themselves in an unequal position in the negotiation process on this topic, and the composition of their delegations to the UN events, in fact, becomes dependent on the will of Washington.

In this regard we declare a strong protest to the US authorities. The consequences of their short-sighted, in fact, malicious policy do not affect Russia, but the UN as a whole, the leadership of the Organization and the OEWG itself and its distinguished Chair. We strongly support tremendous efforts of Ambassador B.Gafoor aimed at ensuring successful result of the negotiations. We regret that some States use their cheap tricks to impede this work.

We call on the UN Secretariat to take concrete measures to resolve this unacceptable situation. We hope that the leadership of the Organization will not leave it unattended.

We have been preparing for this event for a long time, and, despite the obstacles placed by the American authorities, part of our interagency delegation still managed to arrive at the UN. Since the delegation was left without its head from Moscow at the last moment, we are forced to urgently adjust the work schedule to the imposed circumstances.

Thank you.