The United States has ordered the expulsion of 12 diplomats from Russia’s Mission to the United Nations for engaging in “espionage activities” that are harmful to U.S. national security, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations announced Monday.
“The United States has informed the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations that we are beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have abused their privileges of residency in the United States by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security,” the spokeswoman, Olivia Dalton, said in a statement. “We are taking this action in accordance with the UN Headquarters Agreement. This action has been in development for several months.”
Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia received word of the expulsions through a phone call he received while participating in a press conference at U.N. headquarters in New York and said the Russian U.N. diplomats — whose identities he did not know — were instructed to leave the U.S. by March 7.