MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Moscow slams the expulsion of 12 diplomats of the Russian mission to the United Nations New York headquarters as a US-provoked deliberate and cynical escalation in bilateral relations, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"We consider the expulsion of 12 diplomats of the Russian mission in New York as a Washington-provoked deliberate and cynical escalation in the Russian-US relations in violation of the United States’ commitments under the corresponding agreement with host country," she said.
The Biden administration continues the policy toward complete destruction of the interstate ties. Moreover, it is seeking to undermine the United Nations’ central role in a bod to impose its "rule-based world order," she noted.
"The goal of what is going on and the moment chosen for this hostile action are obvious for us - to augment pressure, increase blackmailing and intimidation in order to weaken our positions, to deprive us of a possibility to work to our full capacity within the United Nations," she stressed.
According to Zakharova, such "vile American methods" are no news for anyone. "Time after time, suffering setbacks in the diplomatic sphere, Washington is seeking to take revenge by abusing the country’s host status," she noted.
"After what has happened, there is no room for pretexts and delays in the issue of the immediate triggering of the arbitration procedure between the United Nations and the United States over the latter’s flagrant violation of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement. This is one more reminder to the UN secretary general," she said.
"As for the expulsion of Russian diplomats, it won’t go unresponded and the response will not necessarily be a symmetrical one. We advise responsible officials in Washington to think about the consequences of their destructive policy," she added.
Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said on Monday that the United States had declared 12 diplomats from the Russian mission to the UN personae non grata and demanded they leave the country before March 7. The US side claims that these diplomats were allegedly involved in activities outside their office duties. Nebenzia however stressed that these explanations are seen by Russia as unsatisfactory.