Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 18, 2022

Newsline: Russian diplomat says Ukraine no longer possible in its previous borders

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said it was no longer possible for Ukraine to return to its previous borders, TASS reported. “The Ukraine that you and I had known, within the borders that used to be, no longer exists, and will never exist again. This is evident,” the diplomat said in an interview to Sky News – Arabia, published in her Telegram channel on Friday. (https://www.panorama.am/en/news/2022/06/18/Ukraine-Russian-diplomat/2696853) Besides, officials of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson Region, an area that has been under Russia’s control since mid-March, have repeatedly stressed that the region was seeking to join Russia as well.

Newsline: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister’s office office missed e-mail alerting them to Russian embassy party

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly’s office staff did not read an e-mail that said her department was sending a representative to a Russian embassy party – missing a chance to avert an incident that has embarrassed Canada at home and abroad, two senior government sources say. Global Affairs Canada sent the e-mail to Ms. Joly’s chief of staff, Sandra Aubé, and four other staff members before last Friday’s Russia Day embassy party informing them that deputy chief of protocol Yasemin Heinbecker would join the festivities, the sources said. (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-melanie-joly-russian-embassy-party/) None of Ms. Joly’s senior staff read the department e-mail, because they were busy assisting Ms. Joly, who was attending the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, the sources said. The Globe is not identifying the officials as they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. The e-mail to Ms. Joly’s senior staff was not marked urgent, and the two sources cited this as one of the reasons they failed to read it. If they had seen it, the sources said, they could have prevented Ms. Heinbecker from going to the event. The e-mail went through the department’s liaison office and was approved by several high-level Global Affairs officials, including deputy minister Marta Morgan, the sources said. Ms. Morgan did not respond to a request for comment.

Newsline: China refutes U.S. ambassador’s remarks over anti-epidemic policy

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Friday refuted remarks by U.S. ambassador to China Nicholas Burns concerning China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach. “The reason why China adopted the dynamic zero-COVID approach is that we put the 1.4 billion people’s lives and health before anything else,” Wang told a press briefing, adding it is a testament to the governance philosophy of the CPC and the Chinese government, which is to give top priority to protecting the people and their lives. He said whereas the average life expectancy in some developed countries, such as the United States, declined during the pandemic, China’s average life expectancy has steadily gone up in recent years. China’s COVID containment measures are constantly adjusted to better respond to the latest developments in the COVID situation, which has proven to be effective, Wang said. (https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/china-refutes-us-ambassadors-remarks-over-anti-epidemic-policy/) Noting the overall epidemic metrics in China have been stable, Wang said China has effectively brought virus transmission under control in Shanghai and other places, where life and work are going back to normal.