U.S. exiles 12 Russian diplomats from United Nations because of "espionage activities".

Washington -- The United States has announced that 12 diplomats from Russia's Mission at the United Nations have been expelled for participating in "espionage activity" that is harmful to U.S. security.

U.S. exiles 12 Russian diplomats from United Nations because of "espionage activities".

A spokeswoman for U.S Mission to United Nations said Monday.

The spokeswoman Olivia Dalton stated that the United States had informed the Russian Permanent Mission at the United Nations that they are starting the process to expell 12 intelligence operatives who have violated their privileges of residence in the United States and engaged in espionage activities which are detrimental to our national security. We are complying with the UN Headquarters Agreement. This action is in the planning stages for many months."

Vassily Nebenzia, Russian Ambassador to U.N., received information about the expulsions via a telephone call while participating in a Press Conference at U.N. Headquarters in New York. He said that the Russian U.N. Diplomats -- whose identities were not known -- were told to leave the U.S. by march 7.

Nebenzia claimed that the U.S. took "hostile" actions against the Russian Mission, and "grossly violated their commitments under the host country agreement."

He said that it was "sad news" and yet another example of gross disrespect for the host country agreement to reporters at the U.N.

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, reiterated that the U.S. action has been in the works for several months.

Psaki responded to Nebenzia’s criticisms of the move by saying, "I think that the hostile act was committing espionage actions on our soil."

The U.S. and its European allies have placed financial sanctions on Russian banks and oligarchs as a response to the invasion by Ukraine. On Friday, the Biden administration sanctioned Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The announcement on Saturday by the U.S.-European partners was made that certain Russian banks would be removed from SWIFT's financial messaging system.

Monday was a day earlier when the Biden administration increased its sanctions on Russia by taking new measures against its Central Bank. This immobilizes any assets it has in the U.S.

Russia will be liable for the economic sanctions that it imposes on Ukraine in return for its aggression. They will also be cut off from the global economy and financial system.


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