Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Slovakia

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: Slovak official complains about US embassy fence to Trump

The security fence around the US Embassy in Hviezdoslavovo Square is in dispute, and one Bratislava city councillor took to a letter to inform Trump of the illegal use of public space. In the protracted dispute surrounding the ugly fence around the US Embassy in Bratislava, city councillor Martin Borguľa has sent a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump, informing him about the current situation with the security fence. The disputed fence is currently an illegal construction, as the lease of the embassy expired on August 15. Since the US Embassy has lost the right to use the area, it unlawfully uses the public space, Borguľa argued. With his letter, the councillor wants to point to the fact that despite several warnings and protests the embassy has not made steps to remove the fence. Borguľa deems this an illegal occupation of public space and unprecedented disrespect for the laws of the Slovak republic. He adds that he mostly wanted to point to the fact that US Embassy in Slovakia has made no steps so far to remove the fence from the Hviezdoslavovo Square.


Newsline: Bratislava has not extended a rental contract with the US Embassy

Following a vote on September 29, MPs for the capital decided not to extend the rental contract for the security fence around the US Embassy to Slovakia in Bratislava’s Hviezdoslavovo Square. Back in June, MPs decided to rent the area under the fence for the next three years, with the US Embassy paying €1 for 1 square meter per day. In one year this would bring around €481,000 to the city coffers. The amendment to the original contract stated that the agreement would only be valid under the condition that the Embassy signed it within 60 days after it was approved by MPs. The US Embassy delivered the signed document in time but it was after August 15 when the original rental contract had already expired. On September 29, MPs were discussing the possibility of extending the rental contract but eventually the majority of them voted against it, the SITA newswire reported. “From this day on, the fence is an illegal construction,” Bratislava’s MP Martin Borguľa stated, as quoted by SITA.


Newsline: Ukraine’s diplomat in Slovakia fired in smuggling case

The First Secretary of Ukraine’s embassy in Slovakia, Oksana Lishchyshyn had been fired over her reported involvement in a cigarette smuggling case, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said, according to local news agency Yevropeyska Pravda. ‘She was dismissed for breaking the oath, linking it to the smuggling episode. The results of an internal investigation are the reasons for it’, Prystaiko said. Oksana Lishchyshyn’s activity is also investigated by Ukrainian prosecutors. Last May border guards discovered USD 35,000 worth of cigarettes in a car, driven by a Ukrainian man holding diplomatic passports, at the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. This was reported by the State Fiscal Service in the Zakarpattia region. The driver turned out to be Oksana Lishchyshyn’s husband, who said the vehicle had a diplomatic cargo and he refused to grant the customs officials access to his car without permission and presence of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry representatives. Report claims it was Oksana Lishchyshyn who had signed a letter confirming that the detainee transported a diplomatic cargo in his car.


Newsline: Ukrainian diplomat involved in cigarette smuggling scandal to be prosecuted

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has not issued any permit for shipment of diplomatic cargo or mail to the husband of the first secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in Slovakia, Oksana Lischyshyn, who was detained when transporting contraband cigarettes, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko said. “The Foreign Affairs Ministry has not given this family any right to use any of our vehicles or our facilities, and no mail has been handed to them – diplomatic or otherwise,” Prystaiko said at a briefing in Kyiv. The deputy minister also said that a diplomatic passport alone does not give any right to evade customs inspection. “Only diplomats that work abroad and have diplomatic immunity have such a right, Prystaiko said. The press service of the Zakarpattia regional branch of the State Fiscal Service reported earlier an attempt to smuggle tobacco products across the state border by a holder of a diplomatic passport which was stopped at the Luzhanka checkpoint. On May 21, 2016, a Volkswagen Transporter van driven by a citizen of Ukraine entered the “green corridor” of the checkpoint. At the customs control, he presented a diplomatic pass of a citizen of Ukraine, a certificate of registration of the vehicle, and a letter of one of Ukraine’s embassies that the car is carrying diplomatic cargo, which, in accordance with the law, is not subject to control, the Fiscal Service reported. On Monday, May 23, Head of Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Hennadiy Moskal said that the detained a Volkswagen Transporter minibus with a cargo of smuggled cigarettes belongs to the Embassy of Ukraine in Slovakia, and its driver is “a resident of Kyiv, Serhiy Lischyshyn, who is the husband of the first secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in Slovakia.” “Customs officers contacted the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and after obtaining a permit the inspection of the minibus revealed 5,685 cartons of cigarettes worth UAH 620,000,” Moskal’s press office quoted him as saying.


Newsline: Azerbaijani embassy opens in Slovakia

The office of the Azerbaijani embassy has been successfully inaugurated in Bratislava, Slovakia. The opening ceremony was attended by Slovak officials, including former President Rudolf Shuster, parliamentarians and the representatives of the diplomatic corps. Diplomatic relations between two states were established on 23 November 1993. 7 bilateral documents have been signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Slovak Republic.