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Archive for Moldova

Newsline: Moldova expels five Russian diplomats

Moldova’s foreign ministry today expelled five Russian diplomats, ordering Moscow to remove them in a move that outraged the country’s pro-Russian president. The foreign ministry declared the five personae non grata, giving the relevant note to the Russian ambassador to Moldova Farit Mukhametshin on Monday afternoon, a foreign ministry aide, Artur Sarbu, told AFP, without explaining why they were being expelled. Mukhametshin confirmed that he received the note, but declined to comment further. The move comes amid tensions between the country’s pro- Russian president and his West-leaning government, and follows allegations that a Moldovan diplomat passed state secrets to an attaché of the Russian Embassy. The foreign ministry’s note gives the five Russian diplomats 72 hours to leave the country, Moldova’s President Igor Dodon said, condemning the move by the country’s EU- leaning government. “The government has taken an outrageous act toward the Russian Embassy,” he wrote on facebook. “I am deeply outraged of this unfriendly step by the representatives of the Moldovan diplomatic corps and I categorically condemn it.” “This was done most likely on orders from the West,” he added. “This crude step will not be left without negative consequences.” The five names have not been public however the news follows accusations in March that an aide to the military attaché of the Russian embassy, Alexander Grudin, received secret information from former Moldovan lawmaker Yury Bolbochan. Bolbochan was arrested in March and charged with treason after a video was published of him meeting Grudin.



Newsline: Sweden to close six embassies, open 10 new ones

The Swedish government said it would close six Swedish embassies, including five in Europe, this year and open 10 new embassies. Embassies facing closure were based in European Union members Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia. “Within the framework of the close cooperation that exists between the EU member states, there is scope for developing new forms for maintaining bilateral contacts in future,” Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said. Meanwhile, Sweden is to upgrade its missions in Albania, Kosovo, Georgia and Moldova to embassies. The sixth embassy to be closed was in Dakar, Senegal, while section offices were to be upgraded in Senegal’s West African neighbours Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali as well as Rwanda, Bolivia and Cambodia.