Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for April 29, 2022

Newsline: US ambassador to Moscow says ‘US-Russia relations driven into the depths’

The Russian war on Ukraine has “driven US-Russia relations into the depths,” US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan told CNN. Although the top envoy did not say that the relationship between Washington and Moscow was at its absolute lowest point, Sullivan noted that it was “about as bad as it could be.” “US-Russia relations were bad when I arrived here in January of 2020,” and “they have just gotten worse, spiraled downward, since then,” he said. (https://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/28/politics/us-ambassador-russia-sullivan-cnntv/index.html) In an interview from Moscow with Alisyn Camerota on “CNN Newsroom,” Sullivan said there has been “very little engagement with the Russian government,” and his communications have focused on the detained US citizens and “the functioning of our embassy,” which is under sharp restrictions imposed by the Russian government.

Newsline: Turkey condemns Germany’s summoning ambassador

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag condemned Germany’s summoning of Ankara’s ambassador over a legal case on Friday, saying it was an “open attempt to interfere in Turkey’s internal affairs.” Bozdag said Germany had trampled on justice many times in the past and said it should act in line with international law. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-condemns-germanys-summoning-ambassador-150749593.html) Media reports cited a spokesman for Germany’s foreign ministry as saying the Turkish ambassador was summoned over the sentencing on Monday of philanthropist Osman Kavala to life in prison without parole.

Newsline: Canada plans to reopen embassy in Ukraine

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said the government plans to reopen its embassy in Ukraine soon. According to a CTV report, Joly said before the Senate foreign affairs and international trade committee on Thursday that her objective is to do so in the coming days, weeks, reports Xinhua news agency. “We just need to make sure that there is a secure environment for staff and also we’re looking at what our other Five Eyes colleagues and allies are doing,” Joly was quoted as saying. (https://in.investing.com/news/canada-plans-to-reopen-embassy-in-ukraine-3181258) Canada closed its embassy in Kiev on February 12 and relocated diplomatic staff to the western city of Lviv. All staff members were later moved to Poland. The US, France and Italy have announced similar plans.

Newsline: Germany summons Turkish envoy

Germany summoned Turkey’s ambassador in Berlin on Friday to protest a sentence of life in prison that a Turkish court handed to a prominent Turkish civil rights activist and philanthropist. Western governments and rights groups strongly criticized this week’s ruling which found Osman Kavala guilty of attempting to overthrow the government with mass protests in 2013. The court in Istanbul also sentenced seven other defendants to 18 years in prison each for “aiding” the attempt. Christofer Burger, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, said Turkey’s envoy was summoned for talks Friday morning. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/germany-summons-turkish-envoy-kavala-verdict-84393135) He told reporters in Berlin that Germany had urged other European Union countries to make a similar diplomatic protest.

Newsline: Netherlands reopens embassy in Ukraine’s Kyiv

The Netherlands will reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Friday, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry said. The country removed its diplomatic staff from Ukraine two days after Russian troops invaded on Feb 24. It reopened its embassy in Lviv, in western Ukraine, last week. “A small embassy team there (in Kyiv) will work closely with the Ukrainian authorities and other returned partner countries,” Dutch foreign affairs minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter. “It is important that we provide support to Ukraine on the ground.” (https://whtc.com/2022/04/29/netherlands-reopens-embassy-in-ukraines-kyiv/) The Kyiv embassy will not be accessible yet for consular assistance. Several other European countries, including France, recently announced they were moving their embassies back to Kyiv.