Tag Archives: diplomacy

Ukraine caught in U.S. domestic debate

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 expels German ambassador

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.

AMENDED:

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.

Lavrov “unpleasant surprise” of Austria spy scandal

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 cars vandalized in Kiev

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:

Belgium Ambassador summoned in Madrid

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.

Moscow accuses Washington of violation of international law

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

 

 

Athens recalls ambassador from Moscow

Tensions between Athens and Moscow culminated in July, when Greece expelled two Russian diplomats from the country over national security concerns, prompting Russia to retaliate.

 

Greece has recalled its ambassador to Russia, Andreas Fryganas, according to mass media reports. It is unclear if Greece has plans to restore the previous level of diplomatic relations.

The experts say the protracted argument will hit Russian tourism to Greece, already losing support while state is increasingly interested in developing infrastructure at Black Sea, especially  in Crimea. Reorientation of tourist flows from Greece to Crimea would become a substantial resource for growing economy of the peninsula in need for renovation and modernization.

Earlier Greece expelled two Russian diplomats and imposed a travel ban on two other, accusing them of meddling in security issues and attempting to bribe Greek officials.

Explaining the decision over the Russian diplomats, Athens stated they intended to thwart a deal between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece, which would allow Macedonia to join NATO.

A protracted argument between Greece and Macedonia was settled this June, after Skopje decided to agree to change the name to North Macedonia.

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