Will The United States Ban Russia From The United Nations?

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation to the UN General Assembly, scheduled for the end of September in New York, the Kremlin announced yesterday. However, it is unclear whether the US will allow Lavrov and other members of the delegation to enter the country, even for the UN event.

There are “no plans” for Putin to travel to the US or address the world body, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated yesterday. Instead, the Russian president signed a directive designating Lavrov as the head of the Russian delegation.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and Russian permanent representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, as well as Senator Grigory Karasin and Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky, who chair the foreign affairs committees of their respective parliamentary chambers.

The US government sanctioned Slutsky in March 2014, over his support for Crimea rejoining Russia. Lavrov was added to the sanctions list on February 25th this year, as Washington accused him of being “directly responsible for Russia’s unprovoked and unlawful further invasion” of Ukraine.

The UN General Assembly traditionally takes place in the third week of September at the world body’s New York headquarters on the East River. This year’s 77th session is scheduled to run from September 20-26. According to the event’s preliminary program, Lavrov is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 24.

Under a series of treaties and conventions governing the US’ role as the host country of the UN, Washington is responsible for recognizing the individuals who are accredited by the UN. They are accorded full diplomatic immunity with respect to their official duties.

Preventing either Lavrov or Slutsky from attending the UN General Assembly would effectively mean the United States has restated its intent to impose its unilateral will upon the entire global community and to effectively cancel entire countries it disagrees with. With Russia a global nuclear and economic power – in PPP terms it has an economy the size of Germany – such a move would not sit well with other nations wary of US intentions to impose a unipolar world order. It would, in effect, undermine the entire concept of the United Nations as a whole.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said last week that he also planned to travel to New York and address the UNGA. The US sanctioned him in November 2019.

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