The United States has expelled 12 Russian envoys on charges of spying. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in New York has said that “secret agents” are involved in “espionage activities contrary to our national security.” The staff of the Russian Mission may have abused the “privileges” of staying in the United States.
The move was made in several months, the US representative further explained. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
One week deadline
According to Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia, all 12 Russians must leave the United States by March 7. “This is bad news,” Nebenza said. At the same time, he accused the United States of grossly violating its obligations under the Host State Agreement with the United Nations.
In fact, UN ambassadors have special protection. The United Nations is an international body accessible to all member states. It is possible that representatives of US adversaries – for example North Korea or Iran – will visit the UN headquarters in New York.
However, the Host Country Agreement also states that “laws and regulations may apply if such housing offers are misused”. The United States now relies on this passage. At the United Nations, it is an open secret that some countries have been using their presence in the world system for decades to spy on other members.
wa / fw (afp, dpa)