Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 2, 2022

Newsline: The US Is Sending Its Diplomats Back to Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine’s east becomes the focus of Russian forces, the U.S. State Department has announced it’s redeploying diplomats in-country. The move comes as the Biden administration announced an additional $33 billion in U.S. weapons and aid, contingent on congressional approval, as Washington signals it’s in it for the long haul as a key ally to Ukraine. Kristina Kvien, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, made the trip to the western city of Lviv and spoke at a press conference in the city center with the mayor. “I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be back in Ukraine,” Kvien told a large crowd of locals. (https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjbqgm/us-ukraine-diplomats) Over the weekend Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised that American diplomats not only would return to Lviv but planned to be in the capital Kyiv.

Newsline: Top US diplomat says Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua won’t be invited to Summit of the Americas

The State Department’s top diplomat for the Western Hemisphere said he doesn’t expect to see representatives from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua at June’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. In an interview with Western Hemisphere Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols, NTN24 anchor Gustau Alegret asked the diplomat whether the United States would invite leaders of the three countries to the upcoming summit. “Cuba, Nicaragua, the [Nicolás] Maduro regime [in Venezuela] do not respect the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and therefore I don’t expect their presence,” replied Nichols. Alegret followed up by asking whether Cuba, whose leaders attended the 2015 edition of the summit, would be invited. “No,” replied Nichols. “It’s the president’s decision, but I think the president has been very clear about the presence of countries that by their actions do not respect democracy – they will not receive invitations.” (https://news.yahoo.com/top-us-diplomat-cuba-venezuela-191536740.html) While the potential absence of the Venezuelan regime and of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is less controversial – the United States does not formally recognize Maduro and Ortega’s 2021 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent – excluding Cuba is likely to rub many Latin American countries the wrong way.

Newsline: Israel demands apology after Russia’s top diplomat says Hitler had Jewish roots

Israel lambasted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday for claiming that Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins, saying it was an “unforgivable” falsehood that debased the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. In a signal of sharply deteriorating relations with Moscow, the Israeli foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an apology. “Such lies are intended to accuse the Jews themselves of the most horrific crimes in history that were committed against them,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. (https://news.yahoo.com/israel-denounces-lavrovs-hitler-comments-080329497.html) Lavrov made the assertion on Italian television on Sunday when he was asked why Russia said it needed to “denazify” Ukraine if the country’s own president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was himself Jewish. “When they say ‘What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews’, well I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing,” Lavrov told Rete 4 channel, speaking through an Italian interpreter. “For a long time now we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves,” he added. The identity of one of Hitler’s grandfathers is not known but there has been some speculation, never backed up by any evidence, that he might have been a Jew. There was no immediate response for comment from the Russian embassy to Israel or from Lavrov in Moscow.

Newsline: South Korean embassy resumes operations in Ukraine’s Kyiv

The South Korean ambassador to Ukraine and a part of the diplomatic staff have returned to Kyiv to restart the operation from May 2, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said. Seoul evacuated the embassy from Kyiv in late February and established two temporary liaison offices in the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Chernivtsi, and one in Romania soon after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. The Lviv office was closed on March 18. “The South Korean embassy is preparing to resume operation from May 2 and intending to conduct diplomatic work in Kyiv in even closer cooperation with the Ukrainian government in order to protect its citizens in Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/world/south-korean-embassy-resumes-operations-in-ukraine-s-kyiv/ar-AAWPdng) The statement added that some South Korean diplomats, who were working in a temporary liaison office in Chernivtsi, including the South Korean ambassador to Ukraine Kim Hyung-Tae, have now returned to the Ukrainian capital city. The rest of the embassy’s diplomatic staff still remains in Chernivtsi and Romania, also considering a gradual return to Kyiv depending on the situation.

Newsline: Denmark reopens embassy in Ukraine

Denmark on Monday reopened its embassy in Kyiv after temporarily shuttering it at the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine more than two months ago, officials said. Foreign minister Jeppe Kofod was present in the war-torn country for the ceremonial reopening of the embassy that included the hoisting of the Danish flag. “Touching to meet local employees and Danes who have been here in the capital the past two months,” he tweeted. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/05/02/ukraine-Denmark-reopens-Kyiv-embassy/4221651481701/) Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it was Koford who had the honor of raising his country’s flag to mark the reopening.