Kremlin Calls for Tough Response After U.S. Denies Visas to Russian UN Delegates

Statement comes after Washington denies visas to several members of the Russian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting in Moscow, Russia, June 19, 2019.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the United States' failure to provide visas to Russian UN delegates warrants a tough response from both Moscow and the United Nations.

The Russian foreign ministry said earlier on Tuesday that Washington had denied visas to several members of the Russian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that Moscow is "outraged" that the members of its delegation were denied U.S. visas ahead of the annual UN General Assembly session in New York this week.

Zakharova said that the visa applications were returned with an explanation that they had been submitted too early — but they were returned too late to allow them to be resubmitted. She insisted that the documents were filed within the listed timeframe.

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.

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 fulfil its obligations as host country to the world organisation," Zakharova said on Facebook.

"Another act of disregard for the rights of sovereign states and international organisations 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.