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Envoy blames US for impunity toward Russian diplomats at UN

This was facilitated by the lack of specific actions of the international organization in connection with Washington's restrictions on the employees of the diplomatic mission and their families, said the head of the legal referent Sergei Leonidchenko

UNITED NATIONS, November 8. /TASS/. The lack of specific response by the United Nations to US-imposed restrictions on Russian diplomats has bred impunity among US officials, Sergey Leonidchenko, a senior adviser to Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said at a meeting of the United Nations Committee on Relations with the Host Country on Monday.

"Year after year, the United States has openly ignored recommendations by the [UN] Committee on Relations with the Host Country. In the fifth year of treading water, it should be clear that Washington is not going to rectify the situation either `in any reasonable and limited timeframes,’ as envisaged by UNGA resolutions, or in any way at all," the Russian diplomat said. According to him, the continued inaction on this issue undermines the authority of both the UN Secretary General and the international organization in general.

The situation around the rights of diplomats at the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN has continued to deteriorate of late, Leonidchenko said. "For example, 32 employees of the Russian Permanent Mission and 51 their family members have been waiting for their visas to be extended - on the average, for six months or longer already. Meanwhile, they are still de facto deprived of the opportunity to visit their homeland, including for major humanitarian reasons," he added.

Leonidchenko pointed to the US move to replace the requirements for Russian diplomats to notify of traveling outside a 25-mile radius of the UN headquarters with the rule of obtaining permission which he said "best shows how indecision and inaction have bred impunity."

According to the Russian diplomat, there are the necessary mechanisms to solve the problem. He also urged the UN Secretary General to immediately authorize the use of arbitration rules. "It’s time we stopped talking and started taking specific actions," he concluded.