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CNN reports that USA expelled 12 russian diplomats assigned to the UN.

This (at least to a layman's POV) implies that the USA government can dictate who can and who can not work with the UN, and leads to the conclusion that the USA government can exert control over the UN if only by controlling who is working there or not.

Can the USA government expel foreign diplomats working for the UN?

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Yes and No

Yes, they can expel them from the USA.

No, they cannot be prevented by USA from working in the UN. But they can be prevented from commuting to work at UN building located in USA, or being inside UN NY headquarters (which does not AFAIK offer immunity under Article 22 of Vienna convention, unlike an embassy).

They just can't be present in the United States as a sovereign country. E.g., they can telecommute to work. As far as I know, they can even live inside the embassy as it's a sovereign territory of Russia. As long as they never exit the embassy.

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    Embassies are not sovereign territory of the sending state. They have certain immunities, but they remain the territory of the receiving state. – cpast Mar 27 '18 at 19:03
  • @cpast - ah. You're correct, thanks! The high level point is unchanged, as the effective result is the same under Vienna Convention article 22 as if it was truly sovrereign; but I edited the fact in. – user4012 Mar 27 '18 at 19:12

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