Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for April 5, 2022

Newsline: Russian Diplomatic Expulsions Exceed 200 in EU

The expulsion of Russian embassy staff from European capitals rolled ahead with the number of personnel told to leave exceeding 200, as accusations of atrocities committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians pushed diplomacy to its limits. Italy declared 30 Russian officials personae non gratae, while Spain said it planned to expel 25. Estonia and Latvia followed suit, kicking out 27 between them, while Slovenia required Russia to reduce its embassy staff by 33. Denmark, Romania, Sweden and European Union institutions raised the tally by another 47 combined. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russian-diplomatic-expulsions-exceed-200-165130745.html) EU leaders are cobbling together a fresh set of sanctions against Russia as the world reacts with horror and outrage over apparent atrocities in the town of Bucha, in territory ceded by forces departing the north of Ukraine. The mass expulsions underscored the failure of diplomacy as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the United Nations to do more to stop Moscow’s aggression. He said that, short of an overhaul of the world body, Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council should be stripped, or the council “disbanded.”

Newsline: US insult diplomacy questioned

Several weeks into the war in Ukraine, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked President Joe Biden if he agreed with those who call Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer.” “I do,” said Biden. Since calling Putin a killer, Biden has progressed to calling him “a war criminal,” “a murderous dictator,” “a pure thug” and “a butcher.” It is difficult to recall an American president using such a string of epithets about the leader of a nation with which we were not at war. Already, the US paid a price. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley are finding their secure phones to their opposite numbers in the Russian government have gone silent. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov have not been picking up the phone. In Moscow, there is talk of severing diplomatic relations with the United States because of Biden’s name-calling. None of the aspiring peace-makers seeking to broker a cease-fire or truce in the Ukraine war are acting like this or using language like that. (https://www.reviewonline.com/uncategorized/2022/04/does-insult-diplomacy-help-biden/) President Emmanuel Macron of France, President Recep Erdogan of Turkey and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel have not used the kind of public language on Putin as has Biden.

Newsline: Latvia and Estonia close Russian consulates

Latvia and Estonia each ordered the closure of two Russian consulates and told staff to leave their countries, the foreign ministries said on Tuesday, in measures taken in response to the war in Ukraine. “The decision was taken in solidarity with Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression and war started by Russia,” Latvian Foreign ministry said in a statement. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/latvia-closes-two-russian-consulates-expels-staff-2022-04-05/) The consulates in the Latvian towns of Daugavpils and Liepaja and Estonian towns of Tartu and Narva will have to close by the end of April. Staff will have to leave by that time, the statements of the ministries said.

Newsline: Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Spain expel Russian diplomats

Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Spain announced separately Tuesday that they will expel dozens of Russian diplomats following similar expulsions from other European Union countries. Several EU members, including Germany and France, have now announced Russian dismissals after evidence surfaced of atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha in the wake of Russia’s military withdrawal from northern Ukraine. Italy said it expelled 30 Russian diplomats, while Spain said it will order 25 to leave, Denmark 15 and Sweden three. (https://www.axios.com/sweden-denmark-italy-expel-russian-diplomats-9423bfa7-f074-4afb-9d77-e47e56c138da.html) All four countries said the diplomats were either not acting in accordance with international rules or pose a national security threat to their governments. Russian media reported that the Russian foreign ministry intends to at least respond to Italy’s expulsions, though retaliative actions are expected to be announced against other countries.

Newsline: Fuel Shortage at Russia’s Embassy in Ireland After Suppliers Refuse to Send Diesel

Russia’s embassy in Dublin reportedly asked the Irish government to intervene as it ran short of heating and hot water. The embassy’s fuel provider refused to deliver diesel, it said in a letter to the government, according to the Irish Mirror. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-05/russian-diplomats-in-dublin-shiver-as-fuel-suppliers-turn-away) The embassy said other providers “refused to cooperate” and requested the foreign affairs ministry intervenes “into this clearly discriminatory case,” the newspaper reported.

Newsline: France, Germany Expel Dozens of Russian Diplomats

Moscow faced global revulsion and dozens of Russian diplomats were expelled from European countries Monday after the Russian pullout from the outskirts of Kyiv revealed streets strewn with the corpses of civilians and other evidence of apparent war crimes. The French foreign ministry announced Monday that France has decided to expel “numerous” Russian diplomats, saying their “activities were contrary to our security interests.” The announcement came hours after Germany said it was expelling 40 diplomats and Lithuania said it expelled the Russian ambassador and will recall its envoy in Moscow, the AP reports. (https://www.newser.com/story/318936/france-germany-expel-dozens-of-russian-diplomats.html) German news agency dpa quoted German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser as saying that the diplomats being expelled are those “whom we attribute to the Russian intelligence services.”

Newsline: Denmark expels 15 Russian diplomats

Denmark’s Foreign Ministry says the country is expelling 15 Russian intelligence officers who worked at Russia’s Embassy in Copenhagen. The ministry said the Russian ambassador was informed of the decision on Tuesday. It said Denmark strongly condemned “Russia’s brutality against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha” and stressed that “deliberate attacks on civilians are a war crime.” The officers have two weeks to leave Denmark. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said “they pose a risk to our national security that we cannot ignore.” (https://www.wsoctv.com/news/world/live-updates-denmark/CF3JAUFEGQESSMXYR2TPCQMHVU/) The move came after France and Germany on Monday announced the expulsion of dozens of Russians with diplomatic status. France plans to expel 35. The French Foreign Ministry cited national security reasons for the expulsions, saying the Russian diplomats were conducting “activities contrary to our security interests.” It gave no details.