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Archive for March 9, 2022

Newsline: North Korean ambassador to Syria dies from stroke

North Korean Ambassador to Syria Mun Jong Nam died from a stroke in recent days, Syrian state media reported Tuesday. The country’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad met with the new DPRK charge d’affaires Kim Hye Ryong and military attachés in Damascus and praised Mun for his work to improve bilateral relations, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). (https://www.nknews.org/2022/03/north-korean-ambassador-to-syria-dies-from-stroke-syrian-state-media/) Mun Jong Nam was active in Damascus in recent months and formerly headed DPRK Embassy in Italy.

Newsline: UAE ambassador to U.S. favors oil production increase

The United Arab Emirates favors an oil production increase and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher output, CNN and the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing a statement from the UAE’s ambassador to Washington. “We favor production increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels,” Ambassador Yousuf Al Otaiba said, the FT reported. (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/uae-favors-oil-production-increase-media-citing-ambassador-us-2022-03-09/) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, have been restoring 5.8 million barrels per day in production cuts over the last several months, with another 400,000 bpd due in April, to restore supply cuts dating to the 2020 pandemic outbreak.

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Newsline: Canadian embassy banners supporting Ukraine vandalized in China

The Canadian Embassy in Beijing has put up banners to show support for Ukraine. Two banners put up by the Canadian Embassy in China in support of Ukraine were recently vandalized. On Feb. 29, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Embassy of Canada in Beijing installed two banners on its perimeter walls with the message, “We Stand with Ukraine.” However, the following day a photo was circulating on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) showing one of the banners with the words “F*** NATO” scrawled across it. (https://www.richmond-news.com/local-news/canadian-embassy-banners-supporting-ukraine-vandalized-in-beijing-5140250) Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has followed Ukraine’s bid to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Sabrina Williams, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Global Affairs in Canada, confirmed the incident and said the vandalized content has been covered. “We condemn this action of vandalism. Canada is a steadfast ally of the Ukrainian people and stands in full support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence,” read a statement.

Newsline: Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK calls for visa requirement to be lifted

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, called for the visa requirement to be lifted. He told the Commons Home Affairs Committee: “Very sensitive, I understand how sensitive it is for your society, especially after the immigration crisis, refugee crisis with Syrians, which we believe was manufactured by Russia pushing out these people from Syria, flooding with immigration, wave after wave, to Europe. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newsbirmingham/ukraines-ambassador-to-the-uk-calls-for-visa-requirement-to-be-lifted/vi-AAUPOPg) “That would definitely resolve all the issues, but how reasonable, how justified it is with your own system, that’s frankly for you to decide. “We will be happy if all the barriers are dropped for some period of time when we can get maximum (numbers) of people, then we will deal with that.”

Newsline: Car crashes into Polish Embassy in Washington

The gates surrounding the Polish Embassy in Washington were hit by a car Tuesday night. The crash came the same day that Poland offered to provide to Ukraine its Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, a move certain to provoke Russian wrath. According to eyewitnesses and photos cited by the Daily Mail, the driver of the car was a woman who did not appear to be hurt. “A woman just drove her car into the gates of the Polish Embassy at 16th and Fuller. Didn’t see it happen but heard a huge boom and saw smoke from my apt. Driver is up and walking, another car is wrecked but driver also appears OK,” tweeted Washington resident Meg Massey. (https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/mar/8/car-crashes-polish-embassy-dc/) She also tweeted two photos of the wreck, one from before and one from after the arrival of the police and ambulance units.

Newsline: Indian Embassy evacuates Indian sailors stranded in Ukraine

The Indian mission in Ukraine said it has evacuated 52 out of the 75 Indian sailors stranded at the Port of Mykolaiv in the war-hit nation. It also said that the evacuation of the remaining 23 sailors would be attempted. “Mission intervened to evacuate 75 Indian sailors stranded in Mykolaiv Port. Yesterday buses arranged by Mission evacuated total of 57 sailors including 2 Lebanese & 3 Syrians,” the Indian Embassy in Ukraine said in a tweet. “Route constraints precluded evacuation of balance 23 sailors. Mission is attempting their evacuation today,” it said. (https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-embassy-evacuates-52-indian-sailors-stranded-at-port-of-mykolaiv-ukraine/article65204219.ece) India has brought back over 17,100 of its nationals in 83 flights under “Operation Ganga”, which was launched on February 26 following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

Newsline: Chinese students who fled Ukraine criticise embassy response

Almost two weeks before Russia acted – described by the Chinese media as “special military operations” – countries including the UK and Canada advised their nationals to leave Ukraine. But in the case of China, which had nearly 6,000 nationals in the country, it was not until the day after the war broke out that the embassy advised its citizens to leave. China said on Monday most of its nationals had left Ukraine. At the annual press conference with Chinese and foreign journalists in Beijing on the same day, the foreign minister, Wang Yi, told millions of its citizens abroad that the country “is always at your back” in answering a question from the Xinhua news agency. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/08/chinese-students-fled-ukraine-condemn-embassy-response) However, while state media praised the diplomatic mission for its work, its response since the war has also drawn much criticism from some Ukraine-based Chinese students, who spent days trapped in bomb shelters in a war-stricken foreign country. They say the embassy’s slow advice and confusing messaging – including advising them to display a Chinese flag on their vehicles, then a day later telling them “not to display identifying symbols” – contrasted with the image of order and control Beijing had been trying to project over the years.