Russia’s permanent mission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) informed the organization of France’s failure to comply with its obligations to ensure foreign delegations’ attendance at UNESCO events because Russian diplomats had been unable to get visas to take part in the 33rd session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Program for the Development of Communication in Paris, Trend reports citing TASS.
"Our mission contacted the UNESCO secretariat via diplomatic channels and sent a note, pointing to France’s failure to comply with its obligations under an agreement between UNESCO and Paris," a mission official told TASS.
According to the mission, two Russian Foreign Ministry employees "were unable to get visas in time," though a request had been sent to the consular department of the French embassy in Moscow.
"There is an agreement between UNESCO and France, under which France, as a host country, is obliged to provide full assistance to official delegations in securing their visits. All member states were invited to the UNESCO event," the embassy official noted. "Despite this unfriendly step, Russia managed to take part in the Intergovernmental Council’s meeting. Our voice was heard and we promoted Russia’s priorities, particularly raising issues related to the safety of journalists and illegitimate restrictions on the activities of Russian media outlets," he added.