Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Russia

Newsline: Russia summons Canadian ambassador

Russia said on Friday it had summoned Canada’s ambassador to the foreign ministry in Moscow in a tit-for-tat move. In a statement, the foreign ministry said Canada’s ambassador, Alison LeClaire, had been told that Ottawa was “fomenting an atmosphere of Russophobia”. (https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/business/2280918-russia-summons-canadian-ambassador-in-tit-for-tat-move) The statement cited Canada’s alleged “hostile policy” and statements about Russia’s actions.

Newsline: Russian diplomat says prisoner swap with US still possible

Russia and the United States have repeatedly been on the verge of an agreement on a prisoner exchange, a senior Russian diplomat said Tuesday, adding that a deal is still possible before the year’s end. Asked by reporters whether a swap is possible before the year’s end, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov responded that “there always is a chance.” “Regrettably, there have been a few occasions when it seemed that a decision in favor of it was about to be made, but it never happened,” he said without elaborating. “If that happened, iT would undoubtedly send a positive signal that not everything is so utterly hopeless in Russian-U.S. relations,” Ryabkov added. He reiterated Moscow’s call for the U.S. to discuss the issue discreetly and refrain from making public statements. He lamented that “Washington has been abusing ‘loudspeaker diplomacy’ instead of a quiet one, which didn’t help us to do business.” (https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/brittney-griner-russian-diplomat-says-prisoner-swap-with-us-remains-possible) The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, including through a possible prisoner swap with Moscow.

Newsline: Russia summons Norwegian ambassador

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Norway’s ambassador to Moscow following the arrest of Russian citizens for allegedly deploying unmanned aerial vehicles illegally. According to the Russian diplomatic service in a statement, Moscow has conveyed to the Norwegian ambassador, Robert Kvile, the inadmissibility of these decisions taken by the authorities of the Scandinavian nation. The Russian representatives have remarked to Kvile that these arrests and trials “are politically motivated” and do not comply with “the principles of fair and impartial justice”, according to the Russian agency TASS. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/moscow-summons-norwegian-ambassador-after-russians-arrested-over-alleged-illegal-drone-flights/) Finally, the Russian authorities have called for an end to what they consider to be ethnically motivated persecution of Russian citizens, which has been exacerbated since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

Newsline: Diplomats say Russia-U.S. nuclear talks postponed

Nuclear disarmament talks between Russia and the United States set to take place this week have been postponed, Moscow’s foreign ministry and the U.S.Embassy said on Monday.Officials from the two countries were due to meet in the Egyptian capital of Cairo from Nov. 29 to Dec.6 to discuss resuming inspections under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which had been suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The previously schedled session of the Bilateral Consultative Commission under the U.S.-Russia New START Treaty in Cairo (Nov. 29-Dec. 6) will not take place on those dates,” the ministry said. “The event is postponed to a later date.” (https://kfgo.com/2022/11/28/russa-u-s-nuclear-talks-postponed/) It gave no reason, although the U.S. Embassy was quoted by the Komersant newspaper as saying the decision had been Russia’s. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had played down expectations of a breakthrough, although the talks were a sign that both sides at least wanted to maintain dialogue, even though relations are at their lowest level since the Cold War.

Newsline: Russia expels Moldovan embassy staffer

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Nov. 9, said it was expelling an employee of the Moldovan embassy in Moscow. (https://whtc.com/2022/11/09/russia-expels-moldovan-embassy-employee-in-retaliatory-move/) The move came in response to what it said was the “unmotivated” designation of an employee of Russia’s embassy in Moldova as persona non grata on Nov. 1.

Newsline: Russian Diplomats Back Down on Nuclear War Threats

Russian diplomats tried to dial back rising fears the Kremlin might use nuclear weapons in its war in Ukraine, clarifying that their use against conventional forces would only occur if the existence of the country was at stake. The note circulated among International Atomic Energy Agency diplomats in Vienna was the second Kremlin attempt this month to clarify its atomic doctrine. His troops losing ground on the battlefield, President Vladimir Putin in September fueled fears of escalation with warnings that Russia would use all means available to defend the parts of Ukraine it had illegally annexed. While Russia’s nuclear strategy allows it to “hypothetically resort to nuclear weapons,” an attack would be launched only in response to first use by another country or if the “very existence of the state is in jeopardy,” according to the document. “The most immediate task is to avoid any military clash of nuclear powers.” (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-seeks-dial-back-putin-105156518.html) Putin’s hints of possible nuclear use – along with more explicit threats by other Kremlin officials – drew denunciations from the US and its allies, as well as veiled criticism from China and India. Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz he opposed the use of nuclear force in Europe, in his most direct remarks yet on the need to keep Russia’s war in Ukraine from escalating.

Newsline: UK ambassador summoned to Russian foreign ministry met protesters

British ambassador Deborah Bronnert, who was summoned to Russian foreign ministry this morning was met with protesters chanting anti-UK slogans. Ambassador Bronnert arrived at the foreign ministry shortly after 10:30 a.m. as a small crowd chanted anti-British slogans and held placards reading “Britain is a terrorist state”. She left after around 30 minutes. (https://news.yahoo.com/british-ambassador-summoned-russian-foreign-091424035.html) Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it had delivered a protest to the British ambassador after summoning her over its allegation that British specialists had been involved in a Ukrainian drone strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. “The demarche stressed that such confrontational actions by the British threatened to escalate the situation and could lead to unpredictable and dangerous consequences,” the ministry said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from Britain.

Newsline: Russia to summon British ambassador

Russia will summon Britain’s ambassador to Moscow over what it said was the involvement of British specialists in a Ukrainian drone strike on its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Russia’s defence ministry said the attack was carried out under the guidance and leadership of British navy specialists, an assertion Britain has dismissed as false. “These actions were carried out under the guidance of British specialists,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday. “In this regard, the British ambassador will shortly be summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.” (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-russia-summon-british-ambassador-101634732.html) Deborah Bronnert is Britain’s ambassador to Moscow.

Newsline: Russia summons Dutch ambassador

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the Dutch ambassador to protest at what it said was an attempt by British intelligence to recruit the Russian military attache at the Russian embassy in The Hague. (https://news.yahoo.com/russia-summons-dutch-ambassador-over-124502433.html) In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called on the Dutch authorities to prevent “countries that the Netherlands calls its allies” from taking such “unfriendly” actions.

Newsline: Russia summons Czech ambassador

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Czech ambassador to Moscow, Vítězslav Pivoňka, in connection with the escalation of tensions over the Czech House dispute. The Russian authorities recently ordered the removal of part of the fence surrounding the property which the Czech side considers to be a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the step would not go unanswered. (https://english.radio.cz/czech-ambassador-russia-summoned-over-czech-house-dispute-8764700) The Russian Foreign Ministry claims the problematic fence is a long-standing issue and has nothing to do with the present political situation. The Czech House, the largest property owned by the country abroad, has been operating in maintenance mode for several months now, with three Czech and four Russian employees overseeing its operation.