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Russia slams US for denying entry to military officials

Russia has blasted the United States for denying entry to a Russian military delegation scheduled to attend a joint briefing with Chinese officials at the United Nations about America’s deployment of missile systems across the world.

Alexander Emelianov, from the Russian Defense Ministry’s international cooperation committee, said Thursday that Moscow wanted to send a delegation to take part in the briefing, which criticized US missile systems deployed around the world as a global threat.

“The entry visa was not given to them,” Emelianov said of the delegation, which was led by Lieutenant General Tretyak Andrey, Russian Armed Forces chief of the General Staff Advisers Group.

The US mission to the UN refused to comment on individual visa cases or the briefing.

The event was also attended by US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood and Jeffrey Eberhardt, of the State Department Office of Multilateral and Nuclear Affairs, who walked out of the briefing early on.

Russia and China have long criticized the US for deploying missile systems around their borders, an issue that has been intensified over the past months following the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea.

Washington claims the system is supposed to defend South Korea and Japan from possible “aggression” from North Korea, amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Beijing and Moscow, however, insist that the weapon threatens global security and has an advanced radar that can be used to gather information from inside their territories.

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

Representing China at the briefing was Major General Zhou Shangping, the deputy director-general of the Operations Bureau, the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, who also took a similar line.

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

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