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Archive for March 5, 2022

Newsline: State Department says Americans should leave Russia ‘immediately’

The State Department urged Americans on Saturday to leave Russia immediately, citing the “unprovoked and unjustified attack” by Russia against Ukraine and the potential for harassment of U.S. citizens by Russian government security forces. (https://news.yahoo.com/cease-fire-two-ukraine-areas-083949586.html) The new travel advisory updated a notice issued Monday that said Americans should “consider” leaving Russia immediately. The new advisory also said Americans should not travel to Russia. For those wishing to leave Russia, limited commercial flights are still available, and routes by car and bus are also still open, the advisory said. Americans who wish to stay in Russia should understand the U.S. Embassy is limited in its ability to assist U.S. citizens and that transportation options and other conditions may change suddenly, the advisory said.

Newsline: Russian diplomats frozen out of the decision-making in Moscow

Russia’s diplomatic corps was frozen out of the decision-making process in Moscow, forcing its envoys to improvise without the benefit of previewing the Kremlin’s increasingly militarized playbook. The gap between the actions of the Kremlin and assurances of Russia’s diplomats have been especially gaping during the runup to and aftermath of the Ukraine invasion, when the entirety of the Russian foreign ministry repeated falsely, repeatedly, that Putin had no intention of seizing Ukraine by force, only to revise their account to suggest that Russia had been forced to invade because of unsubstantiated claims of Ukrainian aggression in pro-Russian separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine. This has also engendered deep skepticism about the credibility of Russian pledges or its commitment to pursue meaningful diplomatic talks with Ukraine, which it falsely claims is controlled by a cabal of neo-Nazis. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/03/04/russian-diplomats-ukraine-putin/) The reputational damage inflicted on Russia’s diplomats has implications for the prospects of any diplomatic settlement to end the war, fueling deep misgivings among Ukrainian officials and Western diplomats about any level of trustworthiness of their Russian counterparts to build working relationships.

Newsline: Montenegro declares Russian diplomat persona non grata

Montenegro has declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata over violations of diplomatic norms and ordered him to leave the country in the next 72 hours, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. “The reason for making this decision is an assessment of the Russian diplomat’s activities that contravene the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, made by relevant security institutions in Montenegro,” the ministry said, without giving further details. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/montenegro-declares-russian-diplomat-persona-non-grata-2022-03-04/) Montenegro has joined international sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

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Newsline: Polish ambassador last to remain in Kyiv

Some members of Kyiv’s diplomatic corps have moved to the western city of Lviv, others have crossed the border and are working from neighbouring countries, while most havebeen evacuated back home. But inside the Polish embassy compound in the centre of an eerily quiet Kyiv, the ambassador Bartosz Cichocki is still at work. “It was rather 24/7,” he said, of his working week since the Russian attack on Ukraine began. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/03/we-can-influence-morale-bartosz-cichocki-polish-ambassador-last-to-remain-in-kyiv) Dressed in chinos and a Shakhtar Donetsk football shirt, Cichocki offered whiskey and cigarettes to his visitors in a meeting room at the embassy, a Soviet modernist building in central Kyiv. He is the only remaining EU ambassador in the capital and one of just a handful of western diplomats of any rank remaining in Kyiv, but answered questions about his continued presence with studied nonchalance. He conceded he would leave if he was ordered to do so by his foreign ministry, but doubted such an order was imminent.

Newsline: Iranian embassy says national dies in Ukraine

After contacting the Ukrainian police, the embassy expressed regret over the death of the citizen, named Mohammad Mohsen Shoushtarian. “The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, while expressing its sincere condolences and sympathy with the family and relatives of the deceased, is trying to gain additional information regarding the causes of the accident and the condition of the body of the deceased,” the statement issued by the embassy read. (https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/470719/Iranian-national-in-Ukraine-dies-embassy) Shoushtarian, 51, was leaving Kharkiv along with an another Iranian and Ukrainian national, when he suffered a heart failure near the Russian town of Novaya Vadaloga and died despite medical assistance.

Newsline: NATO flag burned outside of Russian and US consulates in Greece

Outside of the Russian and American consulates in Thessaloniki, Greece, protesters took the flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). They set flame to the flag in a symbolic move. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/sport/other/protesters-in-greece-set-flame-to-nato-flag-during-anti-war-rally/vi-AAUtQMV) The burning of the flag was meant to blame the NATO military alignment of not adequately protecting Ukrainians.

Newsline: Top US diplomat visits Poland as Russia’s war in Ukraine intensifies

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is visiting eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine as Russia intensifies its war against the former Soviet republic. Mr Blinken arrived in the city of Rzeszow on Saturday for talks with top Polish officials and is set to go to a frontier post to meet Ukrainian refugees later in the day. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/top-us-diplomat-visits-poland-as-russia-s-war-in-ukraine-intensifies/ar-AAUEgT2) Mr Blinken met Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and foreign minister Zbigniew Rau a day after attending a Nato foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels at which the alliance pledged to step up support for eastern flank members like Poland to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Although Nato has ruled out establishing a no-fly zone over non-member Ukraine, it has significantly boosted both military and humanitarian assistance.

Newsline: Chinese Embassy in Washington Calls What the U.S. did to Native Americans “Genocide”

The Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. has released a statement titled, “The American Genocide of the Indians—Historical Facts and Real Evidence,” in the “news” section of its website. The statement identifies the definition of “genocide” and goes on to state that, “According to international law and its domestic law, what the United States did to the Indians covers all the acts that define genocide and indisputably constitutes genocide.” (https://news.yahoo.com/china-calls-u-did-native-134903450.html) The Chinese Embassy did not respond to Native News Online’s requests for comment.

Newsline: State Department urges embassies not to retweet Russian ‘war crime’ post

The State Department is urging America’s embassies across Europe to not repost a tweet from the US Embassy in Kyiv that called Russia’s attack on a nuclear plant “a war crime,” according to multiple reports. An internal message obtained by NBC News and CNN revealed the Department has warned the embassies to avoid sharing language posted by the Kyiv outpost, or delete their post if they already have. “All – do not/not retweet Embassy Kyiv’s tweet on shelling of the facility being a possible war crime,” the message reportedly reads. “If you have retweeted it – un-retweet it ASAP.” (https://nypost.com/2022/03/04/state-dept-urges-embassies-not-to-retweet-russian-war-crime-post/) The warning comes just hours after the Kyiv embassy tweeted in response to the overnight Russian assault on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest facility of its kind in Europe. “It is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. Putin’s shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further. #TheHague #Zaporizhzhia #StandwithUkraine,” the embassy’s official Twitter account posted.