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Archive for February 24, 2022

Newsline: Canada suspends embassy and consulate operations in Ukraine temporarily

The Canadian minister of foreign affairs announced Thursday that the country will temporarily suspend embassy and consulate operations in Ukraine. “The situation in Ukraine has rapidly deteriorated and poses serious challenges. As a result, we are temporarily suspending operations at both our embassy and our consulate in Ukraine. Canadian personnel are now safely in Poland,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly said in a statement. Joly said operations at the embassy and consulate will resume when “the security situation in Ukraine allows us to ensure the adequate delivery of services.” “The safety and security of all Canadians is our highest priority,” Joly said. “Canadians should continue to avoid all travel to Ukraine. We urge those currently in Ukraine to shelter in place unless it is safe for them to leave the country.” (https://edition.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-news-02-24-22-intl/index.html) Consular services will remain available to Canadians in Ukraine.

Newsline: Diplomacy seems to have failed with Russia

Over the past couple of months, President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have spoken multiple times. Late Sunday night Biden agreed “in principle” to a summit with the Russian leader, before diplomatic negotiations broke down after Russian troops moved into separatist territories in Eastern Ukraine and the United States imposed sanctions. Then early Thursday Putin launched military action in multiple Ukrainian cities, which Biden labeled an “unprovoked and unjustified” attack. These developments would seem to dash hopes for diplomacy. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/02/24/talks-with-putin-probably-wont-prevent-an-invasion-biden-might-try-anyway/) But diplomacy may yet be the only option for minimizing bloodshed and preventing the installation of a pro-Russian government in Ukraine. And a meeting with Putin would be an incredibly high-risk, high-reward gamble for Biden now that Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil. Yet. Biden has great faith in the power of personal diplomacy. He believes it can build relationships and lead to greater understanding, allowing two leaders to tackle thorny problems constructively. In doing so, he is following the standard presidential playbook.

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Newsline: Czechs shut Russian consulates, recall ambassadors, stop visas for Russians

The Czech Republic will close Russian consulates in the country and stop issuing visas to Russians apart from humanitarian cases, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Thursday. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/czechs-shut-russian-consulates-recall-ambassadors-stop-visas-russians-2022-02-24/) The country, a NATO and European Union member, will close two Russian consulates in Brno, the second largest Czech city, and Karlovy Vary and also shut its consulates in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg in Russia, Fiala said. He said the government would also call home its ambassadors to Russia and Belarus for consultations.

Newsline: Russia’s diplomat was in charge of the UN Security Council meeting as Putin announced an invasion of Ukraine

As Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Ukraine, his ambassador to the United Nations was in charge of the UN Security Council meeting late Wednesday night. (https://news.yahoo.com/russias-diplomat-charge-un-security-045222994.html) As the Security Council discussed ways to avoid a war, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military offensive against Ukraine in a video that aired early on Thursday morning in Russia. Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia faced off with Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, in a tense exchange amid the emergency meeting in New York.

Newsline: Ukrainian Ambassador Tells Off Russian Ambassador In Dramatic UN Showdown

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations had a damning message for Russian leaders as military attacks on his nation began early Thursday. And he delivered them right to his Russian counterpart during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. “There is no purgatory for war criminals,” Sergiy Kyslytsya said. “They go straight to hell, Ambassador.” The meeting was led by Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, because Russia is currently president of the Security Council in a monthly rotation of the position. Nebenzya denied Russia was being aggressive against the Ukrainian people, called Ukrainian leadership a “junta” and quickly adjourned the meeting. Kyslytsya also called out Russia for leading the Security Council during the crisis. “Pass these responsibilities on to a legitimate member of Security Council,” he demanded. (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ukraine-ambassador-russian-war-criminals-united-nations) Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the Ukraine invasion during a speech that took place as the council meeting began. The Hill reported that several members were at first unaware of what was happening due to the timing.

Newsline: Ukraine severs diplomatic relations with Russia

Ukraine has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, Ukrainian President Zelensky said, TASS reports. On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a “special military operation” in the Donbass to “protect the residents of the region from genocide.” In his address to the Russians, he said that the Kremlin would seek to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. At the same time, he added, Russia does not want to occupy Ukrainian territories. (https://english.pravda.ru/news/world/150429-ukraine_russia_war/) The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the Russian Armed Forces do not launch rocket, air or artillery strikes on the cities of Ukraine – nothing threatens the civilian population of Ukraine, they said. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the implementation of martial law in the country, the parliament supported Zelensky’s proposal.