United States has expelled 12 Russian diplomats from a United Nations mission

The beginning of an already tense United Nations Security Council meeting became even tenser when Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, informed the body that the United States had just expelled twelve of its colleagues, a move confirmed by American Deputy UNPR Richard Mills.

Mr. Nebenzia, who is presiding over the meeting since Russia is the Council’s president for February, began by claiming that the “host country” [the United States] had taken “yet another aggressive step” against the Russian mission by expelling twelve personnel. 

United States said Russia made a serious infringement of the UN agreement

This, he said, was a “serious infringement” of the UN’ agreement with the host countries as well as the Vienna Convention. Mr. Nebenzia believes that a system for resolving host country duties should be established. Mr. Nebenzia stated that Russia was constantly told to follow the route of diplomacy, but that Russia’s possibilities to do so were “limited.”

Mr. Mills stated that expelling diplomats were not a suitable topic of discussion at a meeting centered on Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis. Mr. Mills stated that the diplomats were “involved in actions that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations,” and that the decision to remove them was made “in complete conformity with the headquarters agreement that we signed with the United Nations.”

He stated that they were being expelled out of the country so that they “do not endanger the host country’s [the United States’] national security.”

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