Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for October 5, 2022

Newsline: Russia Expels Lithuanian Diplomat

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it had expelled a Lithuanian diplomat in a retaliatory move. In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said that it “reserves the right to take additional measures” in response to what it called Lithuania’s “unfriendly steps”. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-10-05/russia-says-it-expelled-lithuanian-diplomat-in-retaliatory-move) European and other Western countries have expelled hundreds of Russian diplomats, many of them for alleged spying, and Russia has responded in kind.

Newsline: Indians Struggle to Go Home Amid Visa Backlog at US Embassy

The U.S. Embassy in India’s capital, New Delhi, currently has a wait time of 833 days to get an appointment for a visitor visa — that’s over two years — according to the State Department’s website. The wait time for student visas is 430 days, and the wait for nonimmigrant visas is 390 days. (https://news.yahoo.com/indians-struggle-home-amid-visa-232014296.html) According to the website, other cities have much faster wait times for visitor visas: just two days for Hong Kong and Beijing and 11 days for Tokyo. A State Department spokesperson told TODAY the delay in India specifically is due to a combination of high demand in the country and a staffing shortage caused by the pandemic. The State Department spokesperson said the department has currently doubled consular hires as compared to last year and is actively working on onboarding new hires to address the staffing shortage.

Newsline: Japan reopens embassy in Kyiv

Japan will reopen its embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement. (https://uk.investing.com/news/world-news/japan-says-to-reopen-embassy-in-kyiv-on-wednesday-2771282) Japan temporarily closed its embassy in the capital on March 2.

Newsline: US top diplomat started Latin America tour with visit to Colombia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has begun a week-long tour of Latin America, with the top United States diplomat making a first stop in Colombia to meet the country’s newly sworn-in, left-wing president. During his trip to Colombia, Chile and Peru this week, Blinken also will attend a ministerial summit and hold talks on regional challenges including migration, drug trafficking, post-pandemic recovery, climate change and the crisis in Venezuela. Washington also has been pushing its allies across South and Central America to stem irregular migration amid an increase in arrivals at the US-Mexico border. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/3/us-top-diplomat-begins-latin-america-tour-with-visit-to-colombia) This week, Blinken’s second stop will be in Chile, where voters earlier this year elected the country’s youngest-ever president, former student activist Gabriel Boric. Boric, who campaigned on an ambitious social justice platform, has seen his approval ratings drop, and last month he reshuffled his cabinet after a new constitution he championed failed to pass in a nationwide referendum. On Thursday, Blinken will travel to Peru’s capital Lima to attend a ministerial meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly.