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Archive for February 25, 2022

Newsline: European Union bans priority access of Russian diplomats

A day after Moscow unleashed airstrikes on Ukraine, Russian diplomats were banned from priority access to the European Union (EU). (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/after-moscow-s-war-on-ukraine-european-union-bans-priority-access-of-russian-diplomats/ar-AAUh2Nz) Leaders of the 27-nation bloc agreed to impose new economic sanctions on Russia, joining the United States and Britain in trying to punish President Vladimir Putin and his allies for unleashing a full-scale attack on Ukraine. However, the bloc held back from taking the harshest measures sought by Ukraine and split over just how far to take the sanctions, leaving details to be worked out in the coming days.

Newsline: Pakistani-American sentenced to death in beheading of diplomat’s daughter

A Pakistan court sentenced Zahir Jaffer to death for killing a diplomat’s daughter in a beheading case that drew attention to lack of protection for domestic violence victims. An Islamabad judge sentenced Jaffer, a 30-year-old dual Pakistan-U.S. national, to death for killing Noor Mukadam, a 27-year-old daughter of a diplomat, last July in his family home in Islamabad. “This case is for all the daughters of Pakistan,” the victim’s father, former Pakistani ambassador Shaukat Ali Mukadam, told reporters at CNN. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/02/24/pakistan-zahir-jaffer-death-sentence-beheading-daughter-diplomat-noor-mukadam/8011645726750/) According to the victim’s father, Jaffer had used a sharp instrument to kill his daughter and sever her head on July 20, 2021, GEO News reported. Jaffer was arrested on the day of the killing with a murder weapon and bloodstained clothes at the scene, police reported, and he was later charged with premeditated murder, rape, abduction and confinement. Jaffer had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

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Newsline: US orders Russia embassy’s No. 2 diplomat out of Washington

The United States expelled Russia’s second-ranking diplomat from Washington in response to the Kremlin’s ouster of the American Embassy’s No. 2 official from Moscow earlier this month. Just minutes after President Biden announced additional economic sanctions against Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a senior State Department official revealed the expulsion to the Associated Press. The Russian embassy was reportedly informed of Minister Counselor Sergey Trepelkov’s departure on Wednesday, one day before the attack on Ukraine began. Trepelkov’s expulsion comes just one week after Russia ordered Bart Gorman, the US deputy chief of mission in Moscow, out of the country. The blog Diplopundit reported that Gorman and his family had left Russia the previous week, on Feb. 10. (https://nypost.com/2022/02/24/us-orders-russia-embassys-no-2-diplomat-out-of-washington/) At the time, State Department spokesperson Ned Price described the Russian action as “unprovoked” and “an escalatory step” before adding that the US was “considering our response.”

Newsline: US, Russian ambassadors to Japan trade sanctions threats over Ukraine invasion

The U.S. ambassador to Japan and his counterpart from Russia dueled Friday over the extent one country would punish the other over the economic penalties imposed on Russia for its war in Ukraine. Russian Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin went first at 2 p.m. Friday, addressing reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo. Russia will respond in kind, he said, to sanctions imposed by Japan, the United States and its European allies. “There will be damage for both sides,” he said. The penalties that target Russian banking and select industrial sectors will not achieve their goals, Galuzin said. It’s not possible to exclude Russia from the global economy, he added. U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel appeared next at 4 p.m. at the correspondents’ club. The sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, begun Thursday in earnest following months of troop buildups along the countries’ shared border, “will not be cost-free” for America and its allies, he said. “The sanctions are not only being felt today,” he said. “They will be felt tomorrow.” (https://www.stripes.com/theaters/asia_pacific/2022-02-25/us-russian-ambassadors-sanctions-ukraine-invasion-tokyo-japan-5141530.html) The sanctions are already having an effect. The Russian ruble dropped 4.5% against the U.S. dollar on Thursday and the Moscow Exchange benchmark lost about a third of its value, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Newsline: Ukrainian ambassador calls for immediate no-fly zone over Ukraine

Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Badym Prystaiko called on NATO leadership to implement an immediate no-fly zone over Ukraine. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/story/ukrainian-ambassador-calls-for-immediate-no-fly-zone-over-ukraine/vi-AAUglb4) He said this was a serious military request which only NATO had the ability to carry out.

Newsline: Pope goes to Russian embassy over Ukraine

Pope Francis went to the Russian embassy to the Holy See on Friday to relay his concern over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Moscow’s ambassador, in an unprecedented departure from diplomatic protocol. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope spent about 30 minutes at the embassy, which is close to the Vatican. “He went to express his concern over the war,” Bruni told Reuters. Bruni would not comment on a report that the pope, 85, had offered the Vatican’s mediation. (https://news.yahoo.com/pope-went-russian-embassy-express-115930146.html) It was believed to be the first time a pope has gone to an embassy to talk to an ambassador in a time of conflict. Foreign envoys are usually summoned by the Vatican’s Secretary of State or meet with the pope in the Apostolic Palace.