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.
Washington has violated international law regarding Russian diplomatic missions in the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) said in a protest note filed to DC.
The ministry expressed “protest at the continued violation of international law by the US with regard to” Russian diplomatic missions and consulates in the US, according to a statement on its website.
The complaint concerns Russian diplomatic properties in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as in the states of Maryland and New York.Moscow said that the “negative consequences” undermine not only US-Russian relations, but also “the principles of the sovereignty of states and international cooperation.”
Moscow said that it has a right to take “additional countermeasures” against US diplomatic property on Russian soil if the US “continues violations” against its facilities.
In a separate statement, also released on August 17 the Foreign Ministry urged the UN Secretary-General to look into the matter.The relevant letter to Antonio Guterres was sent on May 18, the ministry said.
The diplomatic argument between Moscow and Washington dates back to December 2016, when on New Year’s Eve, the outgoing Obama administration expelled Russian diplomats and closed two Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland.
Image: Moscow sunset
Greece decided to eject Russian diplomats under the pressure from the European Union and the US in order to favor its partners ahead of the NATO summit, said Igor Pshenichnikov, expert for the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, TASS agency reports.
“It is clear that Greece’s authorities made the decision to expel Russian diplomatic staff members under the pressure of their advisers from Brussels and Washington. This is a gift that Alexis Tsipras made for the NATO summit,” he said, answering the question on why it was done now, as the country had not expelled Russian diplomats following the Skripal poisoning case. “Any excuse can be found, and it is not worth talking about. May it weigh on the conscience of Greece’s current authorities.”
“Of course, it is being done for a reason. Bad relations with Russia are a condition for Tsipras’ good relations with Washington and Brussels. This is obvious,” the expert said.
The Western countries do not quite like benevolent relations between Athens and Moscow both at the official level and between ordinary citizens, Pshenichnikov continued. “All of this definitely irritates both Brussels and Washington. We know that the Americans are constantly instructing the Greeks, so to say, to scale back Russian-Greek cooperation both at the official level and at the level of public diplomacy and creating obstacles all the time,” the expert concluded.