The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will reconvene today for six days of general debate. This latest session of the
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will reconvene today for six days of general debate.
This latest session of the UNGA saw the Russian delegation—including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov—receive their visas for attendance late and with only half of the requested visas issued. Accusations were made that the U.S. deliberately delayed and restricted visa approvals by using the UN’s location in New York as leverage. Meanwhile, a US official blamed the delays on Russian government restrictions on hiring non-American staff at its embassy in Moscow increasing the difficulty of processing visas.
Such diplomatic disputes are likely to occur more often given the worsening of US-Russia ties after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. While such disputes could endanger the reputation of the UN as a neutral diplomatic forum in the long term, Russia’s increasing diplomatic isolation may limit such effects. While Russia has increasingly turned to its own sphere of influence, its increasing inability to exert influence due to increasing losses in Ukraine could see the country become more isolated in the long term. Clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan—traditionally Russia-friendly states– will be one test of Russia’s ability to exert hard and soft power in its traditional sphere.