Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for February 21, 2023

Newsline: Russia summons Bangladesh ambassador

Russia summoned the ambassador of Bangladesh on Tuesday to protest over Dhaka’s decision to block the entry of Russian ships into Bangladeshi ports. Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement it had told Bangladesh’s ambassador in Moscow that the move was not in line with “traditionally friendly bilateral relations and may adversely affect the prospects for cooperation in various fields”. (https://neuters.de/world/russia-summons-bangladesh-envoy-over-sanctioned-ships-dispute-2023-02-21/) Bangladesh earlier this month banned dozens of Russian ships that have fallen under Western sanctions from entering its territorial waters, citing the need to comply with the restrictions. Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy organisation Rosatom is currently building Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant, due to start operating in 2024. Dhaka has asked Moscow to ensure it uses non-sanctioned ships for delivering equipment for the plant.

Newsline: EU climate diplomacy deal on hold

European Union countries failed to adopt conclusions on climate diplomacy that had been planned for Monday, owing to a deepening spat over the role of nuclear energy in the green transition, EU officials said. The upset is the latest development in a dispute between France and other countries who want more EU policies to promote nuclear energy’s contribution to cutting CO2 emissions, and those like Germany and Spain who warn this risks distracting from efforts to massively expand renewable energy. The debate – which focuses on hydrogen produced from nuclear or renewable energy – has already delayed negotiations on new EU renewable energy targets and threatened a multi-billion-euro hydrogen pipeline. Some EU officials fear it could spill into other green energy policies, potentially delaying laws needed to meet EU climate targets. “There are outstanding obstacles, but they will be resolved,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said of the climate conclusions on Monday, without specifying what the obstacles were. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/eu-climate-diplomacy-deal-hold-nuclear-dispute-deepens-2023-02-20/) The conclusions would set out the EU’s diplomatic priorities ahead this year’s U.N. climate summit. Speaking after a meeting of EU countries’ foreign ministers, who had planned to approve the conclusions, Borrell said he expected countries to give written approval to a final text within days. EU officials told Reuters the majority of the text had been approved – including plans for the EU to rally support for a global pledge to phase out fossil fuels ahead of the November U.N. climate summit.

Newsline: Britain summons Iranian envoy

The British government summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat in London to protest what it said were serious threats against journalists living in Britain, as ministers launched a new security review into Iranian activities. On Saturday, a London-based television station critical of the Iranian government said it was moving its live broadcasting studios to the United States after threats it faced in Britain. “I am appalled by the Iranian regime’s continuing threats to the lives of UK-based journalists and have today summoned its representative to make clear this will not be tolerated,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement. (https://neuters.de/world/britain-summons-irans-most-senior-diplomat-over-threat-journalists-2023-02-20/) The foreign office said the Iranian Charge d’Affaires had been told in a meeting with British officials that Britain would not accept such threats to life and media freedom.