United Nations head Antonio Guterres has chosen to appoint a Moscow envoy in Vienna Vladimir Voronkov to head a newly created U.N. Office of Counterterrorism, giving a Russian a top job at U.N. headquarters in New York. Russia’s Ambassador to International Organisations in Vienna, Vladimir Voronkov, will have the rank of undersecretary-general. He’s spent more than 30 years in Russia’s foreign service working primarily on U.N. issues.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Voronkov was Director of the Department of European Cooperation (2008-2011) at the Ministry of Affairs in Moscow, during which time he headed his country’s delegation to the Russia-European Union negotiations on a visa-free regime (2010-2011).
Beginning his career at the Foreign Ministry in 1989, he served in various capacities, including Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna (2005-2008), Deputy Director of the Personnel Department (2002-2005), as well as Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at his country’s Embassy in Poland (2000-2002).
Mr. Voronkov holds a PhD from Moscow State University, and has authored various scientific publications on international issues.
Voronkov has been Russia’s ambassador to U.N. organizations in Vienna since 2011, including the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime that deals with counterterrorism.
The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), composed by the E3/EU+3 and Iran, will convene on 10 January in Vienna. The meeting will review the implementation of the agreement and discuss the issues raised in the letter Foreign Minister Zarif addressed on 16 December to the High Representative, Federica Mogherini, as coordinator of the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission will be preceded by a meeting of the sanctions working group, – according to the European External Action Service (EEAS) announcement.
Many experts relate the interest in the upcoming assessment of the Iranian nuclear deal with the recent statements of the upcoming US administration, indicating it will attempt to abandon the multilateral agreement and reinforce the US nuclear capabilities.
Communicating via Twitter, the president-elect Donald Trump declared his intention to “expand” US nuclear arsenal.
A number of previously classified documents were published on the site of the International Atomic energy agency (IAEA) as a gesture of increasing transparency necessary to convince general public in validity of the agreement. The move came after a wave of criticism of the agreement by the USA Republican congressmen.
The agreement allows Iran to possess only low-enriched uranium, limited to an amount inferior to 300 kilograms at any moment in time.
(Illustration: Federica Mogherini in veil)