Washington’s refusal to issue a visa to Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, is a gross violation of international law and will be responded to in kind, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that “the US authorities, which pursue a now longstanding and quite deliberate line, continue to obstruct the issuance of visas for Russian representatives traveling to events at the UN Headquarters in New York.”
“We have to state that this time Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs and a member of the official delegation of the Russian Federation (whose membership was approved by the Russian president) to the 76th United Nations General Assembly, was denied entry,” the ministry said. “This is outrageous arbitrariness and an absolutely unacceptable violation of international law, which of course cannot and will not go without a proper response.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the US “brazenly abuses” the privilege of hosting the UN Headquarters.
“Washington appears to be manipulating visas in order to put pressure on other countries, in fact, arbitrarily determining whose representatives are allowed to attend UN events and who is denied access there,” the ministry added.
Slutsky told reporters earlier that he was the only Russian delegate who had not been issued a visa. The lawmaker did not rule out that it could be due to his surname being on US blacklists.