The FM called on the White House to be reasonable about a possible escalation of tensions aimed at the expulsion of Russian representatives from the UN Secretariat. The ministry pointed out that excluding its personnel would bring the removal of U.S. staff in Moscow.
"All this is happening amid clear connivance on the part of both the UN Secretary-General himself and the UN Secretariat, dutifully playing the role of extras in the face of the current lawlessness," the ministry noted. "I can confirm that the U.S. mission to the United Nations informed the Secretariat on February 28... of its decision to take action under Section 13 (b) of the UN-US Headquarters Agreement with respect to a staff member in the Secretariat," said Stéphane Dujarric, UN Secretary-General's spokesperson responding about reports of the expulsion of a Russian staffer.
"We regret that we find ourselves in this situation but are engaging with the host country [U.S.]," Dujarric added. He refused to talk about the name and position of the affected employee in deference to the privacy of the individual and the "sensitivity of the matter."
��#Zakharova: We regard the expulsion of 12 diplomats from @RussiaUN as a deliberate and cynical escalation in #RussiaUS relations provoked by Washington in violation of its obligations.
The spokesman disclosed that withdrawal of the U.S. personnel is scheduled for March 14.
Under allegations of being "engaged in espionage," on Monday, the U.S. announced the expulsion of 12 Russian diplomats from the Permanent Mission to the United Nations. The Russian FM spokeswoman said Moscow would respond, adding that the measures will not necessarily be symmetrical.
"As for the expulsion of Russian diplomats, it will not remain without a proper reaction and an answer – not necessarily symmetrical. We advise responsible persons in Washington to think about the consequences of their destructive line," Maria Zakharova said in a statement.