Archive for Ukraine
The Foreign Ministry backed the Czech Embassy in Kiev in reaction to President Milos Zeman’s criticism of its work on Saturday in connection with the applications of Volhynian Czechs for repatriation. The ministry’s spokeswoman Johana Grohová said the ministry has no trustworthy information that would challenge the work of the embassy. Zeman said on Saturday he is deeply dissatisfied with the embassy’s work in connection with the Volhynain Czechs. He said the embassy does not have a good attitude toward them. Czech ambassador to Ukraine Ivan Pocuch told iDNES.cz server he only learned about the repatriation applications from media and meetings with Czech representatives. The Foreign Ministry said if there were any information about the embassy’s mistakes and if it were confirmed, it would take corresponding steps. It added it closely monitors the situation in Ukraine.
US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt was accused of posting unverified images on his Twitter feed Monday, as he was showing off the ongoing US-Kiev military exercises in Ukraine. Ambassador Pyatt first uploaded a picture of US and Ukrainian troops, which he said was taken in the morning at the military exercises in Western Ukraine. Internet users quickly pointed out that the photo had already been published as early as July 31, RT reported. The ambassador then posted a picture of a German tank allegedly taking part in the drills. His tweet said that the Leopard 2 tank is taking part in Rapid Trident exercises near Lvov. However, Twitter users found out that the posted image was actually taken from a YouTube video uploaded nearly one year ago – in October 2013. UK journalist and RT contributor Graham Phillips called Pyatt out on Twitter, calling the ambassador a “liar” for posting old photographs. This is not the first time ambassador Pyatt has been caught in a controversy over Ukraine’s internal affairs.
Australia will open an embassy in Kiev and is considering providing military assistance to Ukraine as it battles Russian-backed rebels, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told Parliament. Mr Abbott said the “interim” embassy would support nine Australian Federal Police investigators who are in Ukraine investigating the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy. He said the Government was also considering short-term humanitarian and non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine. “I am pleased that our flag will shortly fly alongside Ukraine’s as a sign of our support in these troubled times.”
Moscow says two guards at Russia’s embassy in Kyiv, who were detained by Ukrainian authorities on weapons charges, have been released and returned to Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the release on August 30, saying it followed negotiations with Ukrainian authorities. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that the embassy workers were detained on August 28 on suspicion of carrying grenades as they were leaving a cafe in Kyiv. It said the employees, including the personal bodyguard of the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, were held despite the fact they carry diplomatic passports. Moscow had called the incident a “provocation” and demanded the release of the employees. There has been no official statement regarding the reported incident by Ukrainian officials.
In a sign of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday accused Kiev of targeting its diplomats by detaining embassy employees. Calling on Ukrainian authorities to “stop provocations against Russian diplomatic institutions in Ukraine and against Russian diplomats,” the ministry said in an online statement that an unspecified number of embassy personnel had been detained on Thursday. “Kiev has committed the latest outrageous act against security personnel of the Russian Embassy, including the ambassador’s personal security guard. Despite presenting their diplomatic passports, they were detained upon exiting a cafe under a false pretext: they supposedly were in possession of grenades,” the statement read. The ministry called on authorities in Kiev to immediately release the embassy’s employees and to cease such “violations of international conventions on diplomatic immunity.” Kiev has not commented on the incident.
Lithiuania’s honorary consul in eastern Ukraine has been murdered by rebels, according to the country’s foreign minister. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said that Mykola Zelenec, the country’s honorary consul in eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk, has been kidnapped and killed by the pro-Russian rebels there. Linkevicius, who was on a visit to Kyiv, posted the news on his Twitter account.
Russia’s ambassador to the UK has been called to the Foreign Office (FCO) to clarify reports of a military incursion into Ukraine by Russian forces. Alexander Yakovenko was also asked to explain a build-up of Russian military equipment on the border, the FCO said. Earlier, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters he was “very alarmed” by the incursion.