Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for February 22, 2022

Newsline: Ukraine may break off diplomatic ties with Russia

Ukraine may break off diplomatic relations with Russia after Moscow decided to recognise two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine as independent, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at a briefing on Tuesday. Speaking alongside his Estonian counterpart, Zelenskiy said he was weighing a request from his foreign ministry to break off ties. “I’ve received a request from the foreign ministry. I will consider the issue of severing diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Immediately after our press conference, I will consider this issue,” Zelenskiy said. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-may-break-off-diplomatic-ties-with-russia-president-says-2022-02-22/) He also urged Ukraine’s allies not to wait for a further escalation to impose sanctions, which he said should include shutting down the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline, awaiting approval to carry Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

Newsline: Russia to evacuate embassy staff from Ukraine

Russia’s foreign ministry announced it will evacuate its embassy staff from Ukraine as soon as possible, citing “repeated attacks” by Ukrainians. (https://news.yahoo.com/putin-claims-ukraine-controlled-territory-173337985.html) The evacuation comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his clearest indication yet that Russian troops would launch an invasion further into Ukraine, saying the borders of the separatist “republics” he recognized on Monday extend to territory currently controlled by Ukrainian forces. Western officials fear that Putin’s recognition of the territories and deployment of “peacekeepers” is only the beginning, paving the way for a wider assault in eastern Ukraine and potentially the rest of the country. Putin said at a press conference on Tuesday that Russian forces may not immediately advance into the two “republics,” but that “it is impossible to predict the scenario that will unfold.” The upper house of Russia’s parliament granted Putin’s request on Tuesday to deploy military force outside of the country, authorizing action both in the contested Donbas region and potentially elsewhere in Ukraine.

Newsline: US Embassy in Ukraine Posts Memes as It Retreats to Poland

Last week, the U.S. embassy in Ukraine left Kyiv for Lviv as the region and the world braces for a potential Russian invasion. Monday night, it relocated to Poland. Tuesday morning, as Russian troops have begun crossing into Ukraine, the U.S. embassy is posting memes on Twitter. (https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjbe7p/us-embassy-in-ukraine-posts-cringe-memes-as-it-retreats-to-poland) The “U.S. Embassy Kyiv,” which, again, is now relocating to Poland, posted the meme in an attempt to portray Ukraine—and Kyiv—as significantly preceding modern Moscow as an established city and culture, ostensibly to show that Ukraine has its own identity as being separate from Russia. Besides this tweet being generally pathetic and broadly unhelpful, it can be seen as broadly supporting Putin’s general view that Ukraine is part of Russia’s storied history. This is far from the first time we’ve seen official government social media accounts share terrible posts in the middle of a crisis.

Newsline: Russia’s top diplomat dismisses sanctions

Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday dismissed increased calls for sanctions against the country as tensions with Ukraine ratchet up, noting that Russia is “used to it.” “Well, we’re used to it. We know that sanctions will be imposed anyway, in any case. With or without reason,” Lavrov said of the threats of sanctions from Western countries, according to Reuters. (https://news.yahoo.com/russian-diplomat-dismisses-sanctions-were-132431048.html) The comments from Lavrov come amid reports that Russian troops have moved into two breakaway territories in Ukraine. The EU had said earlier this week that they would impose sanctions against Russia in response to the country placing troops on Ukrainian soil.

Please support Diplomatic Briefing

You can support Diplomatic Briefing by checking the offer below:

Only one chance to obtain a unique text-based digital artwork, the full text of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) designed as a diplomatic gift:

https://mintable.app/art/item/The-Art-of-Diplomacy-Part-of-the-Art-of-Diplomacy-collection/DnaoYb8vbWVcJKR

A limited-time offer at $12.98.

Newsline: U.S top diplomat in Ukraine says Putin’s statements are ‘delusional’

The top ranking United States diplomat in Ukraine, Kristina Kvien, on Tuesday said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions threatened the global order and were based on “delusional” statements. (https://whtc.com/2022/02/22/u-s-top-diplomat-in-ukraine-says-putins-statements-are-delusional/) “We all heard the speech President Putin delivered yesterday. His outrageous statements about Ukraine and the Ukrainian people were delusional, reflecting a warped vision reminiscent, not of a global leader, but of Europe’s worst authoritarians,” Kvien said.

Newsline: Russian Ambassador Calls U.N. ‘Emotional’ for Decrying Ukraine

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has accused the U.N. Security Council of being “dogmatic” and “emotional” with regards to Moscow’s recognition of breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine. (https://www.newsweek.com/russian-united-nations-ukraine-security-council-emotional-1681269) Vasily Nebenzya lambasted the organization’s diplomats at an emergency meeting on the Ukraine crisis held by the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), of which Russia ironically holds the rotating chair. Monday’s meeting took place hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR).

Newsline: High alert warning to China citizens in Ukraine but no leave order

Beijing has issued a heightened security alert to its citizens in Ukraine, warning them to stock up on food and daily necessities after Russia announced it was sending troops to the Eastern European country’s breakaway regions. The Chinese embassy in Ukraine issued a notice on Tuesday morning upon “major changes on the situation in Eastern Ukraine”. “The embassy would remind Chinese citizens and companies in Ukraine to be aware of the local safety warnings and not to head to the unstable regions,” it said. “There is a need to be more alert of safety risks and to stock up food, water and daily necessities when needed,” the embassy said, adding that China’s citizens in Ukraine should stay connected to local Chinese associations, student unions and chambers of commerce in case they need help. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/high-alert-warning-china-citizens-093000945.html) The Chinese embassy did not ask its citizens to leave Ukraine, despite a number of other missions – including the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea – giving such instructions more than a week ago, while also moving their diplomats out of the country.

Newsline: The US is relocating US personnel in Ukraine to Poland

US personnel will briefly leave Ukraine for Poland after Russia said it would send troops into two eastern regions of Ukraine — the separatist regions Donetsk and Luhansk — Bloomberg News first reported Monday and Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed. “For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland,” according to a statement from Blinken on Monday. “Our personnel will regularly return to continue their diplomatic work in Ukraine and provide emergency consular services. They will continue to support the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government, coordinating on diplomatic efforts.” (https://news.yahoo.com/us-temporarily-relocating-us-personnel-032012880.html) The US previously moved its embassy staff from Kyiv to the western city of Lviv. US personnel plan to head across the border into Poland, a member of both the European Union and NATO. The statement also reiterated its recommendation that US citizens leave Ukraine.