Russia foreign minister to travel to US for key UN meeting

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is set to head the country’s delegation at the United Nations General Assembly high-level week 2023. A decree naming the members of the delegation was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Apart from Lavrov, the Russian team will include Deputy FM Sergey Vershinin, permanent envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, the heads of Russia’s upper and lower chamber foreign affairs committee, Grigory Karasin and Leonid Slutsky, respectively, as well as other senior diplomats, the decree reads.

High-level week at the UNGA is set to take place in late September. In late July, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had no plans to participate in the event personally.

Russia’s representation at the UN has been riddled with various issues lately, as ties between Moscow and the UN’s host nation, the US, have deteriorated even further over the Ukraine conflict. Earlier this year, Russia held the rotating presidency at the UN Security Council, but the US failed to grant visas to journalists from the media pool traveling with Lavrov.

At the time, the foreign minister condemned Washington’s decision to withhold visas as “stupid,” noting this had only exposed the true worth of Washington’s “oaths about protecting freedom of speech, about access to information, and so on.”

“Of course, I understood how notorious our American colleagues are for such things but I was sure that, this time, given the attention that was drawn to their ugly behavior, everything would be different. But I was wrong,” Lavrov stated.

The Russian foreign minister and several other senior officials were subjected to US sanctions last year shortly after the Ukraine conflict broke out. However, the US, as the nation hosting the UN headquarters, remains obliged not to hinder the work of foreign dignitaries or their staff, including accredited journalists.

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