In a series of confidential emails obtained by Foreign Policy, the Russian delegation denied the request saying that the chamber needed to be kept open and available for unanticipated crises. Russia axed the idea shortly before the show's approval deadline for staging and script.
"Upon thorough reflection, we are objecting to the proposed filming in the Security Council," Diplomat Mikael Agasandyan wrote late Tuesday afternoon. "We are of [the] opinion that the Security Council premises should be available at any time and on short notice. Besides that, we consistently insist that the Security Council premises are not an appropriate place for filming, staging, etc."
The block could disappoint fans who may miss out on seeing President Frank Underwood's (Kevin Spacey) ruthless tactics put to work at the iconic horseshoe table.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recommended the 15-nation Security Council approve the show's request to film in the chamber off-hours in order to generate positive public relations. Russia's decision was not a formal veto -- those only apply to issues -- but a general consensus is usually needed for procedural changes. The permanent members of the council include the U.S., China, Russia, France and the U.K. Fans can still possibly see scenes from other chambers in the U.N. building.
This isn't the first time such a request has been denied. Director Alfred Hitchcock requested to shoot a critical scene for the critically-acclaimed classic North By Northwest, but was rejected and forced to film in a United Nations mock-up. U.N. officials said they regretted the decision and considered it a missed opportunity to draw awareness to the international body. Russia said it would not budge.