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3 Feb, 2023 12:34

Russia responds to calls for international tribunal

The initiative by the Organization of American States chief serves his own personal agenda, Moscow says
Russia responds to calls for international tribunal

Russia’s Embassy in Washington has suggested that the Organization of American States (OAS) should find a new leader, after Secretary General Luis Almagro voiced support for an international tribunal on Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.

“With such comments, the international official is clearly seeking the support of his masters from Washington in the context of the OAS internal investigation in his regard,” the embassy wrote on its official Telegram channel on Friday.

On Thursday, Almagro posted a series of pictures on Twitter of him meeting with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andrey Kostin and Ambassador Oksana Markarova. He accompanied the post by expressing his support for the creation of a “Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.”

Almagro, 59, has headed the OAS since 2015, but is currently facing an internal investigation for allegedly violating the organization’s code of ethics by having a relationship with a staffer two decades his junior. Under OAS rules, employees are forbidden from having intimate relationships with co-workers that may interfere with their duties or disadvantage other colleagues. Any managers who enter such relations must back out of roles that could benefit the other individual.

The embassy pointed out that Almagro had never made any attempt to “condemn the crimes of the nationalist ‘Maidan’ authorities” or criticize their “incessant shellings of Donetsk and other cities of Donbass” which claimed the lives of civilians. 

The Russian diplomatic mission accused the secretary general of bringing a potential conflict into his region with a “proactive Russophobic position” and trying to push his personal opinion as that of the entire OAS, which includes most governments of North and South America and the Caribbean. 

The OAS was initially founded in 1948 and intended to bolster solidarity and cooperation among member states. However, under Almagro’s leadership, the organization, headquartered in Washington, DC, has faced accusations of serving North American interests at the expense of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Russian embassy urged Almagro to instead focus on issues that are more important to his bloc, such as migration, the post-COVID economic recovery, and the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking.

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