Moscow regrets the decision by the United States on Monday to cut off funding for UNESCO after the UN body granted full membership to Palestine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
“It is regrettable that the United States has made the decision not to pay its fee to UNESCO,” Lavrov said, adding that the move will not help to create the favorable atmosphere needed for a resumption of peace talks (between the Palestinians and Israelis).”
Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, announced on Monday that the United States would not make a $60 million payment to UNESCO due in November.
The United States provides about $80 million in annual funding for UNESCO or more than 20 percent of the agency’s total budget.
UNESCO granted full membership to Palestine on Monday with 107 member states voting in favor and 14 against.