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Moscow for shifting UN HQs: Russian Diplomat

According to the agreement between the UN and the US government of June 26, 1947, on the location of the UN headquarters, its seat may be transferred from the headquarters area, which is New York, only by the organisation's decision, the diplomat recalled.

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Moscow: Russia has supported the idea that it is necessary to move the UN headquarters from New York to a neutral country, this would make the organisation’s work less politicised, Pyotr Ilyichev, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s international organisations department, told Sputnik.

“We welcome the idea of moving the UN headquarters to a neutral state. Such a step would make it possible to remove unnecessary tension from the complex process of searching for collective answers to the global challenges of our time. In addition, our work would become much less politicised than it is now,” Ilyichev said.

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According to the agreement between the UN and the US government of June 26, 1947, on the location of the UN headquarters, its seat may be transferred from the headquarters area, which is New York, only by the organisation’s decision, the diplomat recalled.

“Its adoption requires the consent of all or at least the majority of the UN member states, whose mobilization is currently unrealistic, in particular, due to the significant financial costs of such a step. The fact that the capital reconstruction of the secretariat building was completed in 2014 … is not in favor of the initiative as well,” Ilyichev added.

Last week, Russian diplomats expelled from the United Nations by Washington over alleged espionage left New York with their families.

UNSG spokesman Stephane Dujarric also said the US had decided to expel a Russian employee of the UN Secretariat. Moscow pledged to retaliate. Ilyichev aslo said Russia demanded more persistent action from UNSG Antonio Guterres to resolve the problems caused by Washington’s non-constructive line, including issuing visas to Russian diplomats.

“For our part, we actively oppose the non-constructive line of the Americans by regularly raising this issue at meetings of the relevant specialised bodies, in particular, in the General Assembly Committee on Relations with the Host Country, as well as in the main committees of the UN General Assembly. We demand more persistent actions from the UN secretary general in order to solve the accumulated problems,” Ilyichev said when asked about Russian diplomats’ expulsion and visa issues.

Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sputnik in February that Guterres does not rule out launching an arbitration procedure to resolve the issue of the US failing on numerous occasions to grant visas to diplomats at the UN headquarters building in New York.

Last week, Russian diplomats expelled from the UN by Washington over alleged espionage left New York with their families. UNSG spokesman Stephane Dujarric also said the US had decided to expel a Russian employee of the UN Secretariat. Moscow pledged to retaliate. 

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