Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announces the appointment of Mr. João Vale de Almeida, 62, as the first Head of the future EU Delegation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This has been duly notified to the United Kingdom. Mr. Vale de Almeida will take up his new functions on 1 February 2020.
As of that date, the United Kingdom will be a third country and as a consequence, the representation of the Union will be ensured by an EU Delegation.
João Vale de Almeida is a senior European Union diplomat, who served as EU Ambassador to the United Nations from 2015 to 2019, and previously as the first EU Ambassador to the United States of America, from 2010 to 2014.
Between 2004 and 2009, Vale de Almeida was the Head of Cabinet (Chief of staff and main adviser) for the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. He accompanied President Barroso in all European Council meetings and ensured coordination with the private offices of Heads of State and Government in all 28 Member States of the EU. He was also the President’s Personal Representative for the negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon and acted as his personal representative (sherpa) for G8 and G20 summits.
The newly appointed US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, who is arriving in Moscow on January 16, looks forward to enhancing the relationship between the two countries and strengthening cooperation between Moscow and Washington, US Embassy in Russia said in a statement.
“Ambassador Sullivan plans to arrive in Moscow on January 16 and present his credentials to the Russian government soon thereafter. Ambassador Sullivan looks forward to enhancing the overall bilateral relationship and strengthening US-Russian cooperation on several global and regional issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.
Sullivan will lead the US embassy in Moscow and its consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok “as they further US foreign policy goals, protect American citizens, and expand trade and business opportunities between the United States and Russia,” the diplomatic mission noted.
Sullivan will succeed Jon Huntsman who tendered his resignation in early August 2019. Huntsman’s tenure expired on October 3. Two weeks later, US President Donald Trump nominated Sullivan who earlier served as Deputy Secretary of State, for confirmation by the Senate. On November 20, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved his candidacy.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (pictured) said Russia sees “similar symptoms in U.S. attempts to persuade allies… that Russia will make attempts to meddle in their domestic affairs”. Political forces in the United States are trying to use Ukraine to achieve their own goals, Sergei Ryabkov said at the meeting with the participants in the annual scientific and educational program of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.
“Everything that has been going on recently around U.S.-Ukrainian contacts cannot be considered otherwise than another attempt to use external circumstances for domestic political purposes,” he said. “We see similar symptoms in US attempts to persuade its allies, which defer to Washington’s opinion, that Russia will make attempts to meddle in their domestic affairs.”
Ryabkov has underlined that such accusations have not grounds: “We have proposed more than once to discuss such issues in a calm and professional atmosphere. There are specialists who understand better than diplomats what the use of information and communication technologies for illegal and unacceptable purposes means,” the diplomat underlined.
The Democratic Party of the the U.S. House of Representatives announced on September 24 the launch of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. The proposal came after reports emerged in the media that Trump had allegedly attempted to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky to take actions, which would help the incumbent U.S. president to get reelected for a second mandate in 2020.
Venezuela government has declared the German ambassador persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within 48 hours in aftermath of political crisis intensified.
The decision to expel Daniel Kriener who has been based in Caracas since 2018 became public via Venezuela’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, post in Twitter micro blog.
Arreaza said the decision was based on Daniel Kriener’s “repeated acts of interference in the country’s internal affairs”.
In a statement, Maduro’s administration accused Kriener and the German government of unlawful meddling in home affairs of Venezuela. Berlin recognizied Maduro’s rival Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader last month.
The EU says it hopes Venezuela will reconsider its expulsion of the German ambassador.
AMENDED: EU is committed to maintaining contacts with “Mister Maduro” government, the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was an “unpleasant surprise” in absence of any request from Vienna for explanations over the affair of a retired Austrian army colonel who had allegedly spied for Moscow.
“This was an unpleasant surprise to me. It has been a custom from time immemorial for any country that feels some concerns or suspicions over actions by another country to ask for explanations directly in accordance with the rules of international communication. Lately, our Western counterparts have made it a rule not to use traditional methods but rather megaphone diplomacy.They accuse us in public and then demand public explanations over an issue we know nothing about,” Lavrov underlined, according to TASS News Agency.
“It is essential to follow the rules that have been shaped in the process of international communication. We have invited Austria’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. We will draw his attention to what methods should be used, if they have any questions for Russia,” Lavrov added.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at press conference that the 70-year-old army official, now retired, is suspected to have begun working with Russian intelligence in the 1990s and carried on until 2018, for three decades.
The public prosecutor’s office in Salzburg province confirmed the colonel is under investigation for the crime of revealing state secrets.
Russian Embassy in Kiev has failed a complaint with Ukraine Foreign Ministry about damage to diplomats’ cars which were vandalized, Russian media reports.
The vandals smeared diplomats’s cars with human experiments and scrawled insults with paint. Tires were punctured and license plates torn off.
The incident is not unique, as Russian diplomat’s cars have been vandalized in Kiev previously:
The Belgian ambassador to Madrid, Marc Calcoen, has been summoned because Jan Peumans, the president of the Flemish Parliament, reportedly insulted Spain in a letter to Carme Forcadell, the former president of the Catalan Parliament currently in office. detention, reports De Tijd. The information has been confirmed at the Belga agency by the FPS Foreign Affairs.
Jan Peumans personally handed the message to Mrs Forcadell while he was going to visit her in prison with MEP Mark Demesmaeker (N-VA). Its content was broadcast on September 7 on the Twitter account of Mr. Demesmaeker.
This official letter, written by the president of a regional parliament “which has a prominent place in the Belgian protocol order”, is considered an insult by Spain, explained the ambassador.
The Spanish authorities are asking Foreign Affairs to contact Mr Peumans and to inform him that the content of his letter is unacceptable. On September 18, Madrid had already told Jan Peumans not to be pleased with his remarks, considered “a gesture frankly hostile”.
H.E. Calcoen informed Brussels that the incident was another step in “a long list of irritations” in bilateral relations between the two countries. The openly “unflattering” tone used by the Sanchez government against Belgium meant to “raise some fears“, he said. He was also surprised that the letter itself has not yet made the headlines of the Spanish press.