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Russian envoy to UNESCO says US withdrawal politically motivated

October 13, 2017, 0:05 UTC+3 PARIS

Kuznetsov noted that the US had suspended the payment of membership contributions in 2011

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PARIS, October 12. /TASS/. The US decision to quit UNESCO is politically motivated and regrettable, Russian Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Alexander Kuznetsov told TASS on Thursday.

"In this case, it seems to be a politically motivated decision, which is regrettable because, first, UNESCO is one of the most universal organizations, and second, the US has a special responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and now it is actually dealing a blow on the UN system and, in general, on multilateral cooperation," the Russian permanent delegate pointed out. Kuznetsov noted that the US had suspended the payment of membership contributions in 2011. "It definitely created huge financial difficulties for the organization," he said.


US withdrawing from UNESCO


Earlier on Thursday, the United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO. According to a statement issued by US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert, "US withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018."

According to the Foreign Policy magazine, the US has decided to pull out of UNESCO "to save money and protest what it views as the organization’s anti-Israel bias." The magazine added that in 2011, "the United States cut off more than $80 million a year, about 22% of its entire budget for UNESCO, in reprisal for the organization’s acceptance of Palestine as a member."

Later on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave instructions to the foreign ministry to prepare the country’s withdrawal from UNESCO.

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