Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for May 10, 2023

Newsline: Poland summons Russian ambassador

Poland summoned Russia’s ambassador on Wednesday over an incident involving a Russian fighter jet and Polish border guard aircraft over the Black Sea early in May, a spokesperson for the Polish foreign ministry said. The incident on May 5 occurred when a Polish border guard aircraft, on patrol for the European Union’s border agency Frontex, narrowly avoided a collision with a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea, Romania and Poland have said. “We strongly condemn the provocative and aggressive behaviour of the Russian side, which is a serious international incident,” ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina wrote on Twitter. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/poland-summons-russian-ambassador-over-incident-involving-fighter-jet-2023-05-10/) The Russian embassy in Warsaw was not immediately available for comment. The Russian ambassador was summoned to Poland’s foreign ministry earlier this month over a statement made by the former ombudsman for Russian children calling for the murder of the Polish ambassador.

Newsline: Canada pledges not to be intimidated by China’s retaliatory diplomatic expulsion

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said Canada will not be intimidated by China following tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions by Ottawa and Beijing. Ottawa expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei on Monday over allegations related to foreign interference, and hours later, China asked a Canadian diplomat in Shanghai to leave by May 13 in response to what it called Ottawa’s “unreasonable actions”. “We understand there is retaliation, but we will not be intimidated, we will continue to do everything necessary to keep Canadians protected from foreign interference,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. (https://neuters.de/world/canada-will-not-be-intimidated-by-china-says-pm-trudeau-2023-05-09/) A row has simmered since the detention of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou in 2018 and Beijing’s subsequent arrest of two Canadians on spying charges. All three were freed in 2021.

Newsline: US opens embassy in Tonga

The United States has opened a new embassy in Tonga, the State Department said. The United States “officially opened the U.S. Embassy in Nuku’alofa on May 9, 2023,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. “This opening symbolizes the renewal of our relationship and underlines the strength of our commitment to our bilateral relations, to the people of Tonga, and to our partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region,” the statement said. (https://neuters.de/world/us-opens-embassy-tonga-new-pushback-against-china-pacific-2023-05-09/) Miller said the embassy would allow Washington to deploy additional diplomatic personnel and resources, including the potential appointment of a resident ambassador to Tonga, with which the United States has had diplomatic relations since 1972. Washington reopened its embassy in the Solomon Islands this year after a 30-year absence, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink, said last week, and said Washington was continuing to engage with Vanuatu and Kiribati about opening proposed new embassies in those countries.