Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the information on the US withdrawal from UNESCO
This decision by the United States evokes regret. A country that was one of the founders of UNESCO is quitting it at a time that is difficult for this organisation and is thereby aggravating its position. Meanwhile, the United States has not made contributions to the UNESCO regular budget since 2011, which is complicating the work of UNESCO and wrecking the implementation of many major projects.
Indicatively, the United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO on the eve of the decisive round of the election of its new Director-General, which is now being held in Paris.
Russia consistently supports the universal character of UNESCO that represents all countries and continents. It is important to emphasise that we are cooperating with US experts in UNESCO intergovernmental and international programmes on hydrology, oceanography, museum studies, and problems of preventing extremism and radicalism through education, to name a few.
We share the concern of many countries over UNESCO’s recent excessive politicisation. We hope the new Director-General will do everything possible to fix this problem and focus on strictly cultural issues, which will allow continued cooperation in all areas of UNESCO competence with all countries, including the United States.