Russian FM: US Using Financial Levers to Undermine UN’s Work

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MOSCOW – The United States of America is trying to stonewall the United Nations’ work not only by creating visa hurdles for delegations’ members but also by ignoring its commitments on contributions to the organization’s budget, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday.

“It’s necessary to note that the United States has been a major nonpayer for a rather long time. Its debt to the UN regular budget has exceeded $1 bln. Washington’s clear attempts to undermine the organization’s work are obvious: along with its unpredicted and biased policy on issuing US visas to delegations’ members it is also using financial levers,” the foreign ministry said, according to TASS.

This situation has forced the UN Secretariat to employ austerity measures, it noted. For example, starting from mid-October 2019, the UN Security Council and the General Assembly will hold only two meetings per day from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm, while earlier the diplomats often held meetings in the evening and at night.

Besides, the volume of documents to be translated into six official languages at the UN will be limited. The UN will also cut spending on electricity, air conditioning and security services. Moscow highlights the importance of the UN member-states to timely pay their contribution to the United Nations budget in order to ensure the normal work of the world organization.

“Russia, in its turn, is among the bona fide payers. It has timely fulfilled all financial obligations by paying all contributions in full,” the foreign ministry stated, stressing that other United Nations member-states should meet their financial commitments in order to sustain the uninterrupted functioning of the organization.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the member-states that the UN was facing a severe financial crisis and called on them to pay their annual dues.

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