Feb 28, 2022 - World

U.S. to expel 12 Russia UN envoys over security concerns

Photo of the UN seal next to a screen showing a person speaking

Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, speaks during a special session of the General Assembly at the UN headquarters on Feb. 28 in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

The U.S. has informed the Russian mission to the UN that it will begin expelling 12 people, who it described as "intelligence operatives" that have "abused their privileges of residency in the U.S.," a spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the UN said Monday.

Driving the news: The 12 envoys engaged in "espionage activities that are adverse to our national security," the spokesperson said. "Today’s action has been in the works for several months."

  • "We are taking this action in accordance with the headquarters agreement." The statement did not provide further detail.

The other side: Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, describing the move as "hostile," accused the U.S. of violating its commitments as host of the U.N. headquarters, and that Russia will respond to the move "because it's diplomatic practice," per Reuters.

  • Nebenzia said the envoys have been asked to leave by March 7.
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