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UN Rights Rapporteur Rejects Claims Russia Donation Influenced Sanctions Report

UN human rights special rapporteur Idriss Jazairy has rejected allegations that his conclusions from a fact-finding mission to Russia in April were influenced by a $50,000 donation to his mandate from the Russian Federation.

The Algerian diplomat on September 15 responded to charges presented on September 13 in Geneva by Hillel Neuer of the advocacy group UN Watch. Jazairy had earlier said he would not respond to "discursive remarks."

Russian state media hailed Jazairy's report, which said that Russia had lost some $55 billion since the European Union and the United States imposed economic sanctions on Moscow for its illegal 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and its instigation of an insurgency in parts of eastern Ukraine that has left more than 10,000 people dead.

Jazairy's report also said the EU loses some $3.2 billion per month because of the sanctions.

In an interview with Russia's state-controlled Sputnik news agency, Jazairy urged "the international community to try and solve political differences through negotiation rather than through the imposition of sanctions."

Jazairy is the special rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures for the UN-backed Human Rights Council. Thirty-five percent of the council's budget in 2016 came from extra-budgetary support from member states. Russia provided $50,000 to each of six council mandates, including to rapporteurs on terrorism and racism.

The reliance on contributions from members has frequently created the perception of conflicts of interest in the past.

Based on reporting by AP, UN Watch, Sputnik, and Canada Free Press

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