Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 4, 2022

Newsline: Japan expels Russian diplomat in retaliatory move

Japan gave a Russian diplomat six days on Tuesday to leave the country, according to the Japanese foreign minister. Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s office said on Tuesday that it summoned ambassador Mikhail Galuzin to notify him the unnamed diplomat is being expelled. The diplomat is based at the Russian Consulate General in Sapporo, Japan, a major northern city. Galuzin, the Russian ambassador to Japan, said the diplomat “did not engage in activities violating his authority” in a statement obtained by Kyodo News. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/10/04/japan-expels-russian-diplomat-retalliation/9241664899583/) The move comes after Russian officials accused Japan’s consul in the city of Vladivostok of espionage, detaining him for three hours before removing him from the country. Consul Tatsunori Motoki was declared persona non grata and returned home last week. Japan maintains his innocence. He was first detained in late September.

Newsline: Armchair diplomacy of Elon Musk gets very diplomatic reply from Ukrainian diplomat

Elon Musk tried his hand at some armchair diplomacy by proposing a compromise that would end the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He only sparked outrage among Twitter users who did not take too kindly to suggestions that Kyiv should give up territory to the Kremlin. The Tesla CEO posted a “Yes, No” survey on his Twitter feed which included his own ideas for how to end the impasse in Eastern Europe, which has dragged on for some six months and has destabilized oil markets. Musk called for a “redo” of “elections of annexed regions under UN supervision.” “Russia leaves if that is [the] will of the people,” the world’s richest man tweeted. “F— off is my very diplomatic reply,” tweeted Ukrainian diplomat Andrij Melnyk. (https://nypost.com/2022/10/03/elon-musks-peace-proposal-to-end-russia-ukraine-war-sparks-outrage/) Musk then waded into the controversial issue of the future of Crimea, calling for the region to become “formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).” The tech mogul made reference to the late Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s decision in 1954 to “gift” the people of Ukraine the Crimea region in order to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s merger with the Russian empire.

Newsline: Possible security breach at Pakistani embassy in Washington

The U.S. Secret Service on Monday arrested an individual in connection with a possible breach of the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C. A USSS spokesperson told Fox News that officers were on scene assessing a possible security breach from an “unauthorized person” at the embassy, located on the 2300 block of Massachusetts Ave NW. FOX 5 DC later reported that the USSS have an individual in custody. The scene was clear just after 5:40 p.m. (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-secret-service-responds-possible-security-breach-pakistani-embassy-washington) The exact circumstances of the possible security breach remain unclear at this time.

Newsline: State Department kicks off new cyber diplomacy endeavor

The U.S.’s once sleepy cyber diplomacy efforts are getting a jumpstart as a new State Department office gets its leadership. The country’s first cyber ambassador, Nathaniel Fick, started on the job last week after the Senate approved his nomination on Sept. 15. Fick, a former tech executive and entrepreneur, is leading the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, which opened in April, as its ambassador at large. He made his international debut on the job as part of the U.S. delegation at this week’s International Telecommunication Union’s conference in Bucharest, Romania. The Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy is designed to focus on international cyber conflicts and negotiations, as well as promoting internet freedom and open communications. (https://www.axios.com/2022/09/30/cyber-diplomacy-state-department-nathaniel-fick) Ever since the Trump administration dismantled the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues in 2017, the U.S. has faced scrutiny for lacking a high-profile position dedicated solely to cyber diplomacy. In the meantime, other countries have been leading the charge in establishing tech- and cyber-focused ambassador positions. Denmark even created an ambassador to Silicon Valley.