U.S. allows Russia to fly out expelled UN diplomats
The U.S. on Saturday approved a flight chartered by the Russian government to fly out Russian diplomats who had been expelled for abusing "their privileges of residency in the U.S.," Reuters reports.
Driving the news: "This special exception was done in accordance with federal regulations to ensure Russian mission personnel and their families departed by the date we had instructed," a State Department spokesperson said Saturday.
- "This plane will bring back home the Russian diplomats whom the Government of the United States has declared personae non grata," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, per Reuters.
- The flight is traveling from Washington to St. Petersburg.
The big picture: The U.S. earlier this week informed the Russian mission to the UN that it would begin expelling 12 people who they say engaged in "espionage activities that are adverse to our national security."
- "Today’s action has been in the works for several months," a spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the UN said.