Russia Says U.S. Denied Entry To Officials Slated To Criticize U.S. Military At UN

Russia on October 12 accused the United States of denying entry to military officials who were planning to conduct a joint Russian-Chinese briefing criticizing U.S. missile defense systems at the United Nations.

Aleksandr Emelianov, from the Russian Defense Ministry’s international cooperation committee, said Moscow had wanted to send a delegation led by Lieutenant General Tretyak Andrey, Russian Armed Forces chief of the General Staff Advisers Group.

“The entry visa was not given to them,” Emelianov told a few dozen diplomats attending the half-hour briefing at UN headquarters in New York on October 12.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations declined to comment on the briefing or individual visa cases.

U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood and Jeffrey Eberhardt, of the State Department Office of Multilateral and Nuclear Affairs, walked out of the briefing within minutes of it starting.

Russia and China have long been critical of U.S. missile defense systems, particularly the deployment this year of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea amid heightened tensions with North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

“The Russian Federation is confident that the unlimited deployment of the U.S. anti-missile defense is a serious threat to global security and can further unleash the arms race and threaten the entire humanity,” Emelianov told the briefing.

China’s representative, Major General Zhou Shangping, deputy director-general of the Operations Bureau, the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, also criticized the U.S. defense system at the briefing.

“The deployment of the THAAD system does little to upgrade the surveillance capability against [North Korea], but significantly enhances the capability to monitor China’s strategic depth and Russia’s Far East,” Zhou said.

China and Russia have repeatedly demanded the United States halt the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS