Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Slovakia

Newsline: Bulgaria and Slovakia recalling ambassadors from Belarus

Bulgaria and Slovakia are recalling their ambassadors to Belarus for consultations in solidarity with Lithuania and Poland, their foreign ministers said on Thursday after meeting Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Bratislava. “Steps taken by Belarus authorities against other EU Member states are unacceptable. EU remains united in its support of people of Belarus,” Slovak Foreign Ministers Ivan Korcok tweeted. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-election-bulgaria-diplomacy/bulgaria-recalls-its-ambassador-from-belarus-foreign-minister-idUSKBN26T2L6) Poland and Lithuania recalled their ambassadors on Tuesday to defuse regional tensions after Belarus demanded they cut staff at their embassy for their “destructive” actions. Four more EU nations, including Germany, did same on Wednesday, to show support for Poland and Lithuania.

Newsline: Slovakia expels three Russian diplomats

Slovakia said on Monday it has expelled three staff at the Russian embassy in Bratislava whilst citing an abuse of Slovak visas, which local media said was linked with a murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last year. “According to information from the Slovak intelligence services, their activities were in contradiction with the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations,” a Slovak foreign ministry spokesman said in an emailed statement. “On the top of that, there had been an abuse of visas issued at the Slovak general consulate in St. Petersburg, and in this connection a serious crime was committed on the territory of another EU and NATO member state,” he said. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-russia/slovakia-expels-three-russian-diplomats-cites-abuse-of-visas-idUSKCN2562AT) The ministry did not provide further details but the justification brings the expulsions into connection with the murder of a former Chechen rebel with Georgian citizenship in Berlin last summer. Slovak media, as well as investigative website bellingcat.com, have reported that one of people suspected of involvement in the killing, though not the shooting itself, had travelled to Europe on a Slovak visa. Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok ordered a probe into visa issuance at the St. Petersburg consulate last month. German federal prosecutors accused Russia in June of ordering the killing of the Georgian and indicted a Russian man for the murder. Germany expelled two members of the Russian embassy in December in connection with the case. The Kremlin has categorically rejected the idea that there was any link between the killing and the Russian government.

Newsline: Slovakia expels Vietnamese diplomat over abduction case

Slovakia said it had expelled a Vietnamese diplomat over a case involving the abduction of a Vietnamese businessman in 2017 from a Berlin street. In a final ruling on the case, a German court dismissed the appeal of the last suspect in the kidnapping of businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh, who had been seeking asylum in Germany at the time of his disappearance. Trinh was taken – via Slovakia – back to Vietnam, where he was tried and jailed for life in 2018 for violating state regulations and embezzlement. Slovakia’s foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website late that it had informed Vietnam’s ambassador to Bratislava that one of his diplomats must leave the country within 48 hours. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-vietnam-kidnapping/slovakia-expels-vietnamese-diplomat-over-abduction-case-idUSKBN20019I) “Slovakia took this step in connection with the German court ruling. The ministry had flagged strong diplomatic consequences if the very serious suspicions of abuse of Slovakia’s hospitality are confirmed officially,” the ministry said. The ministry declined to comment further on the case. Vietnam’s embassy to Slovakia was not immediately available for comment.

Newsline: Slovakia Expels Russian Diplomat, Says Engaged in Espionage

Slovakia has expelled a Russian diplomat after information from military intelligence showed he engaged in espionage activities in the NATO and European Union member country, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said. “We expelled him on November 22 and he left Slovakia within 48 hours,” Pellegrini told reporters.


Newsline: Man who attacked policeman outside Embassy of Slovakia in Moscow detained

A person suspected of attacking a police officer outside the Embassy of Slovakia the other day has been detained in the Moscow region. The suspect in causing bodily harm to a police officer near 33 1-ya Brestskaya Street has been detained in the Moscow region as a result of a search operation. The assailant with a knife is a native of the Chechen village of Vedeno. The attack on a police officer was reported on Friday, July 27. The man approached the police officer standing outside the Embassy of Slovakia in Moscow, stabbed him in the chest, and then fled. The video shows the man beating the policeman. At the same time, the law enforcer was hit by a taxi cab.


Newsline: Slovakia declares it will move its embassy to Jerusalem

“Slovakia is on its way to relocating its embassy to Jerusalem,” head of the Slovak National Council Andrej Danko told President Reuven Rivlin. The visiting delegation of Slovak lawmakers announced the Eastern European country would open a cultural center in the Israeli capital. The move, when it materializes, would mark a break from European Union policy on Jerusalem. Slovakia would join the Czech Republic and Bulgaria as the other European Union member states to expand their diplomatic presence in the city since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The visiting lawmakers did not give a time frame for when the new cultural center would be opened. The decision, made by Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, came after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called on Bratislava’s government to follow the Czech Republic in opening an honorary consulate in the city.


Newsline: Bratislava Old-Town’s mayor orders fence around US Embassy removed

The fence around the US Embassy in Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava will have to be removed, Bratislava Old Town Mayor, Radoslav Števčík, said on July 3, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He issued an order to that effect on that day. “Today, I have signed the decision with which the Old Town Borough of Bratislava, as the relevant construction authority, orders the removal of the fence around the embassy,” Števčík told a press briefing, adding that the US Embassy has failed to provide current proof of its ownership or any other right to the land on which the fence stands. However, the US Embassy has declared that it does not intend to comply. The embassy refuses to comply, citing security concerns and the Vienna Convention.


Newsline: Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic consider moving their embassies to Jerusalem

The President of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Romania, Liviu Dragnea, is proposing the move of the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Speaker of the Parliament apparently did not consult the foreign ministry in making a statement to this effect. Despite the expression of dismay from Romania’s Deputy Foreign Minister Amal Jado. According to Jado, the move would be against international law and would break ranks with UN Security Council Resolution 478 and the European Union. However, Romania already broke ranks with the European Union on December 21st, abstaining from the General Assembly vote that condemned US President Donald Trump for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Romania was joined by the Visegrad Four — Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic — as well as Croatia and Latvia. Dragnea insists this is a practical move since the government of Israel seats in Jerusalem. Officially, Romania is still committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East. Romania is not alone. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely has a list of ten countries Israel hopes will follow Washington’s lead. On Thursday the Times of Israel published a number of countries included on the list, including three EU member states: Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.


Newsline: Facebook unblocks account of Russian embassy in Slovakia

Facebook has unblocked the official account of the Russian embassy in Slovakia, the embassy’s spokesperson Nikolai Levshunov told TASS. “The page is available again,” he said. “Unlike the fake account, this page contains truthful information.” According to Levshunov, Facebook unblocked the embassy’s account after sorting the situation out. After the official account of the Russian embassy was blocked, the fake Slovak-language account was renamed to “The Soviet embassy in Czechoslovakia.” “They post bare faced lies about events in Russia and Slovakia,” Levshunov said.


Newsline: Slovaki envoy to Kenya collapses, dies at embassy

A Slovaki envoy to Kenya collapsed and died at the embassy in Nairobi on Tuesday. The cause of death remains unclear but police said they are investigating the matter. His body was taken to the mortuary for a postmortem on Wednesday morning.