U.S announces plans to expel Russian diplomats from Moscow’s mission in UN

Mar 1, 2022: The U.S has announced plans to expel 12 Russian diplomats from the Moscow mission to the United Nations in New York, accusing them of being involved in “espionage activities.”

In a statement Monday, the U.S. mission to the United Nations said it had begun expelling diplomats – whom it described as “intelligence operatives” – for “involvement in espionage activities” which are detrimental to our national security. “

“We are taking this action in accordance with the UN Headquarters Agreement. This action has been in development for several months,” the statement read.

The move comes amid widespread international condemnation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which has killed more than 100 Ukrainian citizens and forced half a million others to flee the country since last Thursday, according to the UN.

US Deputy UN Ambassador Richard Mills said: “Those diplomats that have been asked to leave the United States were engaged in activities that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats.”

The Russian response to the move came from Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who said the US move was “hostile” and a violation of its commitments as host of the UN headquarters in New York City.

The administration of President Joe Biden has imposed a number of sanctions on Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last Thursday. The United States and its allies, including the European Union, last week announced plans to ban Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov from attacking their neighbor.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grande said Monday that the number of people fleeing the attack had risen to more than half a million, while at least 102 civilians had been killed since Russian troops entered the country.

Ukraine’s health ministry says the number of civilian casualties has now risen to 352, including 14 children, while 1,684 others, including 116 children, have been injured in the Russian attack. The first round of talks aimed at ending the fighting between Moscow and Kyiv ended on Monday without an immediate agreement.

The talks took place near the Belarus-Ukraine border as Russian troops continued their offensive on other major Ukrainian cities, including Kharkiv, on the fifth day of the Russian invasion.

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