The United States has officially asked 12 Russian diplomats to leave American soil no later than March 7th, accusing them of “espionage activities.”

Olivia Dalton, spokeswoman for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted the news on Monday afternoon.

“The U.S. has informed the Russian Mission that we are beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have abused their privileges of residency in the U.S. by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security,” Dalton explained, adding, “We are taking this action in accordance with the headquarters agreement. Today’s action has been in the works for several months.”

CNN reported:

The United States has asked 12 Russian United Nations diplomats to leave the US, accusing them of “espionage activities,” as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine.

The Russian diplomats were asked to leave due to their alleged engagement in “activities that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats,” Ambassador Richard Mills, deputy representative of the United States to the United Nations, said during a UN Security Council meeting Monday afternoon.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia responded by saying Mills’ explanation of the expulsions was “not satisfactory.”

The United States has officially asked 12 Russian diplomats to leave American soil no later than March 7th, accusing them of “espionage activities.”

Olivia Dalton, spokeswoman for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted the news on Monday afternoon.

“The U.S. has informed the Russian Mission that we are beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have abused their privileges of residency in the U.S. by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security,” Dalton explained, adding, “We are taking this action in accordance with the headquarters agreement. Today’s action has been in the works for several months.”

CNN reported:

The United States has asked 12 Russian United Nations diplomats to leave the US, accusing them of “espionage activities,” as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine.

The Russian diplomats were asked to leave due to their alleged engagement in “activities that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats,” Ambassador Richard Mills, deputy representative of the United States to the United Nations, said during a UN Security Council meeting Monday afternoon.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia responded by saying Mills’ explanation of the expulsions was “not satisfactory.”

“I’ve just received information that the US authorities have undertaken another hostile action against the Russian Mission to the United Nations grossly violating their commitments on the host country agreement that they undertook. They just visited the Russian Mission and gave us a note prescribing us to do what they demand,” Nebenzia complained.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed the situation during Monday’s press briefing, noting that the plan to expel the Russian diplomats had been “in the works for several months.”

“The United States informed the United Nations and the Russian Mission to the United Nations that we were beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who had abused their privileges of residency in the United States by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security,” Psaki said, adding that it had taken some time to make the evaluations but that they had reached the conclusion expulsion was the correct course of action.

“And your response to the Russian Ambassador who called this a hostile act …” one reporter prompted.

“I think the hostile act is committing espionage activities on our own soil,” Psaki shot back.

WATCH:

The news comes as Russia continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine — while Ukraine’s military and armed citizenry fight back and western nations seek to isolate Russia. It is the latest move in an ongoing spat between Russia and the United States regarding diplomatic privileges.

As The Hill reported:

Russia in December ordered all U.S. Embassy staff that had been in the country for more than three years to leave after the U.S. removed privileges for 27 Russian diplomats and their families after imposing a three-year timeline for diplomats. 

No comments:

Post a Comment