Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 18, 2022

Newsline: Brazilian President to Share Concerns About Election With Diplomats

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro invited foreign diplomats to a briefing at his residence on Monday to share his concerns about the security of the electoral process ahead of October elections in which he is trailing in a bid for a second term. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-07-18/bolsonaro-to-share-concerns-about-brazil-election-with-diplomats) Bolsonaro has repeatedly questioned Brazil’s electronic voting system, arguing without proof that it is susceptible to fraud, which has raised fears he might refuse to concede defeat, as his ally Donald Trump did in the 2020 U.S. election. On Sunday, Bolsonaro told reporters he had invited 50 diplomats and 40 confirmed they would attend the meeting on Monday afternoon in which he plans to provide information on alleged fraud in previous elections in Brazil. Reuters confirmed that the envoys of the United States, the European Union, France, Spain and Portugal will attend. Neighbor Argentina, whose president is a leftist, was not invited. Bolsonaro, a far-right nationalist who has said he modeled his presidency after Trump, has echoed the former U.S. leader’s baseless allegations of fraud in the 2020 U.S. election.

Newsline: Greek foreign ministry protests to Serbia, Ukraine over cargo plane crash

Greece has protested to Serbia and Ukraine for not being timely informed about the munitions cargo on board a Ukrainian aircraft which crashed near the northern city of Kavala on Saturday night, Greek diplomatic sources told Reuters on Monday. (https://news.yahoo.com/greece-protests-serbia-ukraine-over-145220176.html) The Antonov An-12 carrying 11.5 tonnes of defence products made in Serbia, including mortar and training shells, came down in a ball of flames, exploding on impact in corn fields at about 2000 GMT on Saturday. Its eight Ukrainian crew members were killed. The Greek foreign ministry has lodged a demarche with Ukraine’s ambassador in Athens over the need for Greece’s prior notice by Ukraine regarding the nature of the aircraft’s cargo, a Greek diplomatic source said. Greek diplomatic sources said earlier on Monday that Greece would also protest to Serbia for the same reason. Serbia’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Newsline: EU top diplomats seeks to keep up support for Ukraine despite economic damage

European Union foreign ministers sought on Monday to show that the bloc can maintain its financial and military support for Ukraine despite the serious inflationary impact on EU economies. The foreign ministers are likely to approve another 500 million euros ($504.35 million) of EU funding to supply arms to Ukraine, taking the bloc’s security support to 2 billion euros since Russia forces swept into Ukraine on Feb. 24. They are also close to agreeing an import ban on Russian gold. “We must support Ukraine,” Swedish Deputy Foreign Minister Robert Rydberg said as he arrived for the meeting. “We are not going to stop supporting Ukraine (or) putting sanctions on Russia,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who was chairing Monday’s meeting, told reporters on arrival. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/eu-seeks-keep-support-ukraine-093824728.html) But after six rounds of EU sanctions on Russia, rising food and energy prices in Europe and a war that neither Ukraine nor Russia can easily win, Borrell said it was becoming harder to keep up the sense of urgency.

Newsline: Chinese Embassy in Manila says Beijing negotiating infrastructure projects with the Philippines

The Chinese Embassy in Manila said on Sunday that it has been negotiating infrastructure project “technical issues” with the Philippines, stressing that it has made “positive progress to move the projects forward.” (https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/china-negotiating-infrastructure-project-technical-issues-with-the-philippines-e2-80-94embassy/ar-AAZFlBM) Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez earlier said the Chinese government did not act on the Duterte administration’s request for loan financing for three major railway projects, therefore these were considered withdrawn and have to be renegotiated by the current government. The three railway projects were the Subic-Clark Railway Project, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long-Haul Project, and the Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP).