The United States has called for the United Nations to expel an employee allegedly working as a “Russian intelligence operative,” the US mission told AFP on Tuesday.
The United States “initiated the process to require the departure of one Russian intelligence operative working at the United Nations who has abused their privileges of residence in the United States,” a US spokesperson said, days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine begun.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed the request but declined to comment further — including refusing to indicate the person’s gender or whether the employee worked in UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Manhattan offices.
“In deference to the privacy of the individual concerned and the sensitivity of the matter, I will not comment further,” Dujarric said, calling the employee a “staff member in the secretariat.”
The United States had on Monday already asked for the removal of 12 members of the Russian diplomatic mission to the UN by March 7, accusing them of spying.
“This is a hostile move against our country,” Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoli Antonov said in a statement posted to Facebook on Monday, adding that Moscow was “deeply disappointed” and “totally rejected” the US claims.