US expels 12 Russian UN diplomats

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Nebenzia said that”the US authorities have undertaken another hostile action against the Russian Mission to the United Nations, grossly violating their commitments on the Host Country Agreement that they undertook…reports Reena Bhardwaj

Twelve members of Russia’s diplomatic mission to the UN have been expelled by the United States by March 7, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Monday (local time).

Speaking at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, Nebenzia said “the US authorities have undertaken another hostile action against the Russian Mission to the United Nations, grossly violating their commitments on the Host Country Agreement that they undertook, telling us that they’re announcing 12 people from the personnel of the Russian Mission and demanding that they will live by March 7.”

He said that he is not aware of the names yet, but the number is 12. Nebenzia termed this action by the US as “sad news”.

Nebenzia said this is sad news and another demonstration of gross disrespect of the course Country Agreement to their commitments, adding that it is within the framework of their obligations on the UN Charter, the host country agreement, and Vienna Conventions.

Meanwhile, in a statement, US Mission to the United Nations Spokesperson Olivia Dalton said, the United States has informed the United Nations and the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations that the US is beginning the process of expelling twelve intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have “abused their privileges” of residency in the United States by engaging in “espionage activities” that are adverse to our national security.

“We are taking this action in accordance with the UN Headquarters Agreement. This action has been in development for several months,” the statement said.

Notably, tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated when on February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of Ukraine’s breakaway region following which Western Nations have toughened sanctions against the country.

Earlier, negotiations between delegations of Russia and Ukraine in the Gomel Region of Belarus ended and the second round of talks will be held on the Belarusian-Polish border in a few days. (ANI)

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