Russia Withdraws From UN Tourism Organization After Suspension Threat

Skift grip

Russia may have withdrawn, but the vote will continue because without this formal process, the suspension will not be immediate. If this materializes, expect more international organizations to follow suit.

Matthew Parson

the United Nations World Tourism Organization said on Wednesday that Russia had decided to leave the international agency just as its member states were preparing to vote on suspending Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

An UNWTO spokesman said that despite Russia’s withdrawal, the assembly would still suspend it as the decision would have immediate effects while the formal withdrawal process would take a year.

Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the Madrid-based UNWTO, said earlier that he hoped members would vote to suspend Russia and set an example for other international organisations.

A two-thirds majority of the total 160 member states must support the suspension, which would only have symbolic consequences for Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the decision to leave the UNWTO would not affect the country’s tourism.

“The tourism sector, especially the domestic tourism sector, will continue to develop. External tourism directorates are also open, hinging on issues of competition in terms of quality and price,” he said.

He did not elaborate further.

Earlier this month, the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council following reports of human rights abuses in Ukraine, which which prompted Moscow to announce that she was leaving him.

Russia, which describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists, has denied these accusations. Ukraine and the West say they are using a false pretext for a war of aggression unprovoked by Moscow.

(Reporting by Corina Pons, writing by Andrei Khalip, editing by Angus MacSwan)

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