Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 7, 2023

Newsline: Russia tells U.S. embassy stop spreading ‘fake news’

Russia has demanded that the U.S. embassy in Moscow stop spreading what Moscow regards as fake news regarding its military operation in Ukraine and has threatened to expel U.S. diplomats, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday. The warning included a harsh message to Lynne Tracy, the new U.S. ambassador to Moscow, TASS said, citing a senior Russian foreign ministry source who said Tracy had been told she must strictly adhere to Russian law when making any statements about Russia’s armed forces in Ukraine. U.S. diplomats engaged in what Moscow called “subversive activities” would be expelled, TASS quoted the source as saying. (https://neuters.de/world/russia-accuses-us-embassy-fake-news-over-ukraine-threatens-expulsions-2023-02-07/) There was no immediate comment from the U.S. embassy in Moscow.

Newsline: U.S. top diplomat tells Turkey to ‘let us know’ what U.S. can do after earthquake

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Turkish counterpart to “pick up the phone and let us know” what the United States can do to help after a huge earthquake hit the country on Monday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters. The Biden administration’s top diplomat spoke to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu by phone following the earthquake that killed more than 2,700 people across a swathe of Turkey and northwest Syria. “It was so important for the secretary to speak to his foreign minister counterpart, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, in the first instance to offer condolences and to make clear…that anything Turkey needed that we could provide, they should pick up the phone and let us know,” Price said. (https://neuters.de/world/blinken-tells-turkey-let-us-know-what-us-can-do-after-earthquake-2023-02-06/) Blinken asked his senior staff on Monday morning to identify what funding might be available to help Turkey and NGOs working on the ground in Syria, Price said.

Newsline: Costa Rica’s foreign ministry says China apologizes for balloon ‘incident’

China apologized to Costa Rica for a balloon that flew over its territory, the Central American country’s government said on Monday. According to a brief statement from Costa Rica’s foreign ministry, the Chinese government recognized that one of its balloons flew over Costa Rica, and China’s embassy in San Jose “apologized for the incident,” while insisting the balloon was focused on scientific research, mainly weather studies. Costa Rican officials were told by Chinese officials the balloon flight path deviated from its original plan and it had a limited ability to correct the error, according to the statement. (https://neuters.de/world/americas/costa-rica-says-china-apologizes-balloon-incident-over-its-airspace-2023-02-07/) A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman told reporters at a news conference in Beijing on Monday that the balloon spotted in Latin America was used for civilian purposes. A U.S. military jet shot down a similar balloon just off its Atlantic coast on Saturday.