Guterres not surprised by US spying on him, denies being soft on Russia: Spokesperson

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio GuterresFile

United Nations, Apr 14: The US spying on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is no surprise to him but he is concerned about distorting private conversations and making them public, according to his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

He pushed back on Thursday in suggestions in leaked US documents that Washington considers Guterres soft on Russia. 

The documents suggested that US officials' opinions about Guterres were based on communication intercepts or spying.

Dujarric said, "The Secretary-General is not soft on any one country or another. On the conflict in Ukraine, he has been very clear about the violations of international law, very clear about the violations of the Chartera."

About the eavesdropping, he said that Guterres "has been in politics and a public figure for quite some time. So he's not surprised, I think, by the fact that people are spying on him and listening to his private conversations".

"Unfortunately, either for various reasons, it allows such private conversations to be distorted and made public", he added.

The revelations about phone-tapping Guterres are among the latest to emerge from a slew of leaked documents that showed the US spying on its allies like Israel and South Korea.

The secret US documents were posted on Twitter, Telegram and Discord, a social media for computer game enthusiasts.

The alleged leaker, according to the Justice Department is 21-year-old Jack Texeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, an outfit equivalent to the Territorial Army in India.

He was arrested on Thursday and Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he is to be charged under the Espionage Act with removing or transmitting classified defence information.

According to media reports, the documents asserted that Guterres accorded priority to protecting the Black Sea grain agreement that the UN along with Turkey worked out with Russia to allow foodgrain exports from Ukraine.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir