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US boots 13th Russian diplomat accused of spying

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The U.S. is booting an additional Russian diplomat accused of espionage, lifting diplomatic privileges for someone working within the United Nations Secretariat the day after expelling twelve other Russians accused of being spies.

“I can confirm that the US Mission to the United Nations informed the Secretariat on 28 February, that is yesterday, [of] its decision to take action,” U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters Tuesday. “We regret we find ourselves in this situation but are engaging with the host country.” 

“What makes this decision a little difficult to understand, is that the staff member was scheduled to end his assignment on 14 March,” he added. 

The Biden administration on Monday announced it would be revoking diplomatic privileges for a dozen Russians from their diplomatic posts at the U.N., accusing them of carrying out espionage under the cover of diplomacy.

“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,” Olivia Dalton, spokeswoman for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday.

The State Department confirmed the move Tuesday.

On February 28, the United States also initiated the process to require the departure of one Russian intelligence operative working at the United Nations as a staff member who has abused their privileges of residence in the United States,” the department said. 

Tags russian espionage US-Russia relations
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