US Abuses Status of UN Headquarters’ Host County - Russian Foreign Ministry
02:32 GMT 14.03.2022 (Updated: 20:11 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Adam RountreeIn this Sept. 13, 2005, file photo, the flags of member nations fly outside the General Assembly building at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
© AP Photo / Adam Rountree
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States is increasingly abusing its position as the host country of the United Nations’ headquarters for political gain, Petr Ilichev, Director of the Department of International Organizations of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Sputnik.
"Recently, the United States has been increasingly abusing its position as the host country of the UN headquarters to extract unilateral political benefits and put pressure on the missions of other countries," Ilichev said.
He emphasized that such actions by Washington violate fundamental international legal norms, including those enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.
Earlier this month, 12 diplomats from Russia's permanent mission to the UN, as well as their family members, arrived in Russia after they were declared personae non grata by the United States and ordered to leave the US by March 7.
At the time, the US mission to the UN explained that the diplomats were being expelled because they had allegedly "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," officials further noted.
The development, however, was blasted by Vasily Nebenzia, who serves as the Russian envoy to the UN body. Per Nebenzia, the move was yet "another hostile step" toward Russian officials. Incidentally, news of the US' measure came just as Nebenzia was set to announce the end of his time as the head of the UN body.