Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Slovakia

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.


Newsline: Fence around U.S. Embassy in Slovakia to be removed

The U.S. Embassy in Bratislava will move to another building in the capital, because its current seat does not meet its own security criteria, according to a press release from the embassy. A new embassy will be constructed elsewhere in the city. “We will be sorry to leave Hviezdoslavovo námestie [Hviezdoslav Square],” Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick is quoted as saying. “The embassy has had a long and proud history at its current location, especially as a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the dark days of communism. However, the State Department makes security its number one priority.” The embassy building was originally purchased in 1948 and shortly after the Velvet Revolution became the seat of the U.S. Consulate General. When Slovakia became an independent country Jan. 1, 1993, the Consulate General was upgraded to full embassy status. However, following the terror attacks in the United States in September 2001, the country’s diplomatic missions around the world were heavily upgraded. The embassy established a security zone with a high fence around its compound in Bratislava’s historical center, provoking protests by inhabitants and local politicians who resented the restriction on their movement. Once the embassy moves, the street in front of the building on Hviezdoslavovo námestie will once again be accessible to the general public.


Newsline: Japan appoints new ambassadors to Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Zambia, Panama, South Sudan

The Japanese government on Friday appointed new ambassadors to the Netherlands, Sweden and 5 other nations, all effective the same day. Masaru Tsuji, 62, who previously served as ambassador to Croatia from January 2012, was appointed as ambassador to the Netherlands, while Seiji Morimoto, 62, was appointed as ambassador to Sweden. The other appointments are Akio Egawa, 62, as ambassador to Slovakia; Tsuguo Takahashi, 62, as ambassador to Azerbaijan; Kiyoshi Koinuma, 58, as ambassador to Zambia; Hiroaki Isobe, 58, as ambassador to Panama; Takeshi Akamatsu, 50, as ambassador to South Sudan.