Kremlin Slams Washington for Denying Visas to UN Delegates
Kremlin Slams Washington for Denying Visas to UN Delegates
The Kremlin accused Washington Tuesday of violating its international obligations by denying visas to a Russian delegation due to attend the UN General Assembly, and threatened "tough action" in response.

“It’s a worrisome situation, and such actions are not acceptable,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“This is a direct violation of Washington’s international obligations, this is not a bilateral visit.”

Washington’s actions called for a “tough reaction” from Moscow, Peskov said, AFP reported.

He urged the United Nations, which holds the General Assembly at its New York headquarters, to react as well.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook earlier Tuesday that “a number of members of the official Russian delegation” had not received their US visas.

The Russian foreign ministry summoned the deputy head of the US mission in Moscow and handed him a protest note, Russian media reported.

The US embassy in Moscow did not immediately comment.

Zakharova said Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov would raise the issue when he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York on Friday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Relations between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War, battered by accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Although Putin and US President Donald Trump have sought to improve bilateral ties, they remain strained.

Trump administration officials regularly criticize Moscow for what they say are its rights violations and policies, particularly towards Ukraine.

Earlier this year, Russia denied visas to teachers of the Anglo-American school in Moscow.