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Russian minister speaks against using UNESCO to solve passing tasks

"Any politicizing of humanitarian contacts is unacceptable," the minister said

PARIS, November 2. /TASS/. UNESCO should not be used as an instrument for solution of passing political tasks, Russian Education Minister Olga Vasilyeva said on Thursday at the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

"It is important to rebuff the temptation of using UNESCO’s floor for the solution of passing political tasks," she said. "Any politicizing of humanitarian contacts is unacceptable. Countries should prove their commitment to UNESCO’s values by deeds and remember at the same time that membership fees are to be paid to the budget of the organization timely."

Vasilyeva said common future was the only type of future any country could have in today’s world.

"There is no isolated future and now as never before a constructive uniting agenda is needed, the one based on a balance of interests and reckoning with and respecting the cultural and civilizational diversity.

The U.S. announced in October it was pulling out of UNESCO. The spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, Heather Nauert, said in a statement the decision would take effect as of December 31, 2018.

Foreign Policy magazine said in this connection Washington decided to quit UNESCO as part of the efforts to save more money and in protest of what the U.S. officials describe as anti-Israeli bias existing at UNESCO. Later on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also issued an instruction to get ready for leaving the organization.

The U.S. renounced the financing of UNESCO in 2011 after the organization had extended full membership to Palestine. Israel took a similar step soon enough, too.

As a result, UNESCO lost 22% of its financing.