The Biden administration has expelled twelve members of Russia’s UN diplomatic mission from the United States, ordering them to leave by March 7 for violating their diplomatic responsibilities and commitments.
On Monday, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council that the Russian Mission had been targeted by “yet another hostile step was taken by the host country.” He describes the decision as a “gross violation” of the United Nations’ agreement with the United States as the UN’s host country, as well as the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
By responding to this allegation, US Deputy U.N. Ambassador Richard Mills told that the diplomats were requested to leave “so they do not harm the national security of the host country.” He also added that the decision was made in complete compliance with the U.N. headquarters agreement.
The Russian diplomats were described by State Department officials as “intelligence operatives” who were engaged in “espionage activities” that are harmful to the country’s national security.
According to Reuters, U.S. Mission to the United Nations Spokesperson Olivia Dalton stated, “This action has been in development for some months.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine Thursday last week, the United States and its Western allies have placed crushing economic sanctions on Moscow and promised to increase military and economic aid.