Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Russia

Newsline: New building of US embassy’s consulate department opens in Moscow

US Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Carl Risch, on Tuesday attended a ceremony of opening a new building of the US embassy’s consulate department in Bolshoi Devyatinsky Pereulok Str. in Moscow. He said in his speech on the occasion that construction of the consulate compound took five years and about $ 280 million. The building has more than 40 windows for interviews with the applicants for US visas. Risch said the US was acting in the spirit of good will to support consular relations with Russia. He pointed out an increase in the number of trips the Russians were making to the US and the Americans, to Russia, adding the factor facilitated economic cooperation. Risch also indicated Russian citizens had nice opportunities because really professional consular officers were working with them. He complained the US embassy was short of staff because of recent reductions in diplomatic personnel and stressed Washington’s willingness to broaden consular presence in Moscow.



Newsline: South Ossetia to open embassy in Syria

South Ossetia will open an embassy in Syria, the Republic’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Medoyev told TASS. South Ossetia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement declaring mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Syria. “Syria’s recognition of South Ossetia is an important political event as far as the Republic’s international activities go,” Medoyev said. “South Ossetia will open an embassy in Syria, the statement is clear about that. It says that the parties ‘declare mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the level of embassies.’ Work to that end has already begun,” the South Ossetian top diplomat added. He also pointed out that there was a large Ossetian community in Syria. “Syria became the second home for these people, we have been maintaining relations with them and now we will develop ties further,” he said. The independence of South Ossetia and also of Abkhazia, the other former Georgian autonomous region, was earlier recognized by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru.


Newsline: Ambassador called in after Polish think tank chief refused entry to Russia

The Polish foreign ministry on Tuesday called in Moscow’s ambassador to Warsaw after the head of a Polish think tank was refused entry to Russia. The Polish authorities have demanded an explanation from Russian ambassador Sergei Andreyev, Poland’s PAP news agency reported. Polish foreign ministry spokesman Artur Lompart said Andreyev had “promised that such explanations would be furnished.” Lompart said the head of the government-funded Polish Institute of International Affairs, Sławomir Dębski, was not allowed into Russia on Monday.


Newsline: Latvian embassy in Moscow “attacked”

Latvia’s embassy in Moscow, Russia, came under attack on the evening of May 9 – celebrated in the country as ‘Victory Day’ – according to Latvia’s Foreign Minister. The press secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Gints Jegermanis, told Latvian Radio that nobody was injured in the incident, which took place at around 6 p.m. Moscow time. Between 4 and 5 people appeared at the embassy’s premises in Moscow and set off smoke bombs and flares. One person tried tried to write something to the embassy building, but the militia intervened at this point, Jegermanis said. Latvia will present a diplomatic note to the Russian foreign ministry over the incident, Jegermanis added.


Newsline: Portuguese gov’t expresses “deep regret” over Russian ambassador’s death

The Portuguese government expressed on Wednesday “deep regret” over the death of the Russian ambassador in Lisbon on Tuesday, describing him as “an exemplary diplomat” who contributed to the deepening of relations between Portugal and Russia. “It was with deep regret that the Portuguese government took note of the tragic death of the Russian Federation’s ambassador to Portugal, Oleg Belous,” said a statement released by Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva also sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Serguei Lavrov to express the condolence over the ambassador’s death. The Foreign Ministry said in the statement that Oleg Belous was an “exemplary diplomat” who “put with great mastery his long experience and unusual professional and personal qualities in the service of strengthening the relationship between Portugal and Russia.” Russian ambassador to Lisbon Oleg Belous died “suddenly” on Tuesday at the age of 66, according to the announcement of the Russian embassy in Portugal. Oleg Belous had been working at the Russian embassy in Portugal since 2013.


Newsline: Russians demand flag fly at now-closed consulate in Seattle

There’s a diplomatic fight over the now-closed Russian consulate’s flag in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports that U.S. State Department officials “respectfully” lowered the Russia flag Saturday from the Russian consul-general residence property after the mansion was vacated last month. The Russian Embassy has demanded it be put back, accusing the U.S. of “unacceptable treatment” of their national symbol. They say they own the house, though the Americans say that the Russia-owned house is built on U.S. government-owned land. The State Department says it asked the Russians to take it down themselves because the house no longer serves as their consulate. The consulate was shut down in response to allegations that the Russian government tried to poison a former Russian spy living in the United Kingdom.


Newsline: US authorities remove Russian flag from consulate building in Seattle

US authorities have removed Russian flag from the previously seized residence of Russian Consul General in Seattle, Russian Embassy reported. US authorities have removed the Russian flag from the seized residence of the Consul General in Seattle, which is unacceptable with regard to the Russian official symbol and represents yet another violation of international norms by Washington, the Russian Embassy in the United States said in a statement. “Today, under cover of night, the US authorities removed the Russian flag from the residence of Consul General in Seattle,” the embassy announced. “These unlawful actions can’t be treated other than being unacceptable towards Russian official symbol and yet another example of Washington’s gross violation of norms of international law.”