UN Rebukes US Over Leaked Spying Documents, Accused of Being Soft on Russia

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The United Nations issued a rare rebuke of the United States after weeks of classified US intelligence documents were posted on social media. According to the documents, the United States spied on the Secretary-General and other high-ranking UN officials. The United Nations stated that such actions violate the United States’ obligations under the UN Charter and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

The leak contained information regarding a confidential conversation between Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his deputy Amina Mohammed. Guterres stated that he is not astonished that people are spying on him and listening to his private conversations, but he expressed concern that these private conversations could be distorted and made public. The office of Guterres clarified that the Secretary-General is not lenient on any particular nation.

Leaks from US Intelligence accuse Guterres of being too lenient with Russia.

Last week, a BBC report on the US intelligence breach accused Guterres of being too lenient towards Russia. According to the leak, US officials believe that Guterres made generous concessions to Russia in order to preserve the Black Sea grain agreement. Last year, the UN and Turkey reached an agreement to help ameliorate a global food crisis caused by soaring grain prices. It was extended in March and will expire on May 18 after Russia refused to grant an extension of more than 60 days.

US officials believe that Guterres’ handling of the Black Sea grain agreement undermines efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine. The intelligence document suggests that Guterres emphasized his efforts to better Russia’s export capacity, even if this required sanctioning Russian entities or individuals. CNN has not verified the documents independently.

Russia’s conflict in Ukraine precipitated an unprecedented food crisis.

TASS reports that the Black Sea grain agreement will be at the center of discussions between Guterres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the latter’s upcoming visit to New York. Ukrainian grain ships traversing the Black Sea have encountered delays in recent days as inspections, which rely on cooperation between Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and UN officials, have been repeatedly suspended. Russia’s conflict in Ukraine precipitated an unprecedented food crisis that has yet to be resolved.

Source: ©JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images ; CNN
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