UN expert defends use of donation before reporting on Russia

A U.N. human rights expert has taken the unusual step of publicly defending his use of a $50,000 donation from Russia to support his work before he reported on the impact of economic sanctions on the country.

Idriss Jazairy said in a statement Friday he denies "accusations" that his findings following his April visit to Moscow "were influenced by funds allocated to my mandate," which is to examine sanctions' impacts in many countries.

The U.N. regular budget paid for Jazairy's trip. Russia's funding helped his other activities.

Moscow gave $50,000 to five other mandates in 2016 on issues like terrorism and racism. But Russia also knew it was due for a review by Jazairy when it funded his office.

Many countries provide such "extra-budgetary" funding to U.N. rights office's operations.