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

U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system equipment in South Korea
U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system equipment in South Korea

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 Yemelyanov, head of the Defense Ministry's international military cooperation department, said on October 12 that Russia had wanted to send a delegation led by Lieutenant General Andrei Tretyak, an adviser to the chief of the military General Staff.

"They were not given an entry visa," Yemelyanov 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, including 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 U.S. antimissile defense is a serious threat to global security and can further unleash the arms race and threaten the entire humanity," Yemelyanov 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

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