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Lavrov says he sent letter to UN chief about US neglect of its duties

"Russia cannot be unrepresented at the UN, and Western countries are not allowed to decide these issues", the Russian foreign minister said

PHNOM PENH, August 5. /TASS/. Russia has recently sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the neglect by the United States of its responsibilities as host country of the organization's headquarters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"The United States, as the host country of the headquarters, has a legal obligation to the UN and to all members to do everything so that any UN member country can normally, comfortably participate in the work of any bodies of the organization. The United States, of course, is shirking this obligation. So I recently sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General [Antonio Guterres], who in turn is obliged to make the host country behave decently," he told reporters on Friday.

At the same time, Lavrov, responding to a question about Russia's participation in the UN General Assembly in September, stressed that "Russia cannot be unrepresented at the UN, and Western countries are not allowed to decide these issues." "As for the level of our presence there - whether it will be a delegation from Moscow or, as you said, our American colleagues will prohibit the arrival of our delegation in the spirit of their liberty - we'll see," the minister said.

The Russian top diplomat also recalled that the agreement that was reached between the UN and the US about the residence of the headquarters of the organization implies the right of the Secretary-General to initiate arbitration if Washington will violate its duties. "At this stage, for some reason, the Secretary-General has been unable or unwilling to exercise this right for several years now," Lavrov pointed out, "We are reminding him that he has it [the right], and it should not just lie in his pocket, but actively used."

According to Lavrov, Russia began reminding the Secretary-General of this right when the Obama administration in the final weeks of its term in the White House illegally seized some diplomatic properties from Russia. "Let's hope that after all, the United States realizes that even for its reputation in the international arena it is important to avoid the impression that it is afraid of discussions, that it is trying to cut off channels of discussion in disputes, discussions, negotiations of countries whose positions contradict American ones," Lavrov concluded.