Moscow, 28 February 2022 (TDI): The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Geneva for the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the Conference on Disarmament, has been canceled.

The cancellation is due to an unprecedented ban on his flight in the airspace of a number of European Union (EU) countries that have imposed anti-Russian sanctions.

The news was shared through the official Twitter handle of the Mission of Russia to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.

The sanctions have been imposed on Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022. Presently, the attention of the entire world is fixated on Russia and Ukraine.

This is because, on 24th February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine at the behest of its Security Council that convened a day before. Prior to this, Russia also recognized the Republics of the Luhansk and Donetsk, much to the West’s chagrin.

The Donetsk and Luhansk are a part of the Donbas region that is pro-Russia territory. Recently, Western countries had been alleging Russia about troops’ deployment on the border of Ukraine.

However, Russia had been denying the allegations by claiming that it has no intention to invade Ukraine. One of the main issues of contention between Russia and the EU/US is NATO’s beefed-up defenses in northeastern Europe and Ukraine’s intent to join NATO.

A series of negotiations were held between Russian and Western counterparts to avert escalation. Though, that indelibly failed. According to Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s stance regarding Ukraine is a matter of principle.

In this context, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that if attempts to come to terms on mutually acceptable principles fail, Russia will adopt an appropriate response.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian authorities had been alerting the world about a possible invasion. Throughout 2021 and 2022, Russia and the West had been engaged in a diplomatic tussle related to Ukraine.

The West kept accusing Russia of a military buildup on the border of Ukraine whilst Russia kept objecting to NATO’s expansionist agenda that is considered a threat to its strategic security.

Consequently, tensions escalated between the two countries and led to strained bilateral relations. Moreover, despite the United States and EU sending strong messages to warn Russia, the threat of economic isolation couldn’t deter Russia to compromise on what it considers its national interest.

The 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council is being held in Geneva, Switzerland. It started today i.e. 28 February and will end on 1st April 2022.