Friday, February 5, 2021
Merkel says “unfair”
Russia expels EU diplomats for protests against the Navy
The Kremlin regularly alleges mediation in the internal affairs of the European Union. The renewed resentment in the West over the decision against opposition Navalny is now bringing the barrel to overflow. Three diplomats, including a representative from Germany, must pack their bags. Merkel is now threatening to bear the consequences.
Russia has expelled many EU diplomats from the country. Diplomats belonging to Germany, Poland and Sweden were declared “undesirable persons” after the Foreign Ministry took part in an “illegal protest” against the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Aleksey Navalny. Ambassadors from three EU countries were called for this purpose. Protest letters submitted by Russia Moscow repeatedly accused the EU of interfering in its internal affairs.
It was found that an employee of the Swedish and Polish consulates in St. Petersburg and the German embassy in Moscow participated in the unauthorized protests on 23 January. Such actions are inconsistent with the diplomatic situation. Thousands of people were arrested at that time.
According to the guidelines of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961, they should leave the country as soon as possible. Also, the ministry called on the governments of the respective states to follow international law.
Merkel: “Away from the rule of law”
The German government has strongly criticized the expulsion of three EU diplomats, including one German from Russia, and has threatened to bear the consequences. “We consider this deportation inappropriate and believe that it is currently far from the rule of law in Russia, which is another aspect,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the deportation was “in no way justified” and was further damaging Russia’s relations with Europe. “If the Russian Federation does not reconsider the move, it will not go unanswered,” the SPD politician said.
Maas also stated that the German diplomat concerned completed his task to obtain information about developments based on diplomatic relations on the Vienna Convention.
Macron insisted that he was in solidarity with the three countries whose diplomats had been expelled. The French president said, “I strongly condemn everything that happened from beginning to end.” He will continue to send a clear message to Russia on this matter. Also, he stressed that it was important to keep talking to Russia.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry also responded to the expulsion. Russia claims the diplomat participated in a demonstration in Russia. A ministry spokesman said the ministry told Russia that it considered the action completely baseless. She did not want to comment on whether the Swedish retaliation would take place.
Borel: “low point” in European-Russian relations
EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borel is currently visiting Moscow for several days. In connection with the Navalny case, Borel spoke of a “low point” in European-Russian relations in a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. At the same time, both sides stressed their desire for continued dialogue.
Relations between Moscow and Brussels have been tense since the destruction of Crimea in 2014. Tensions were heightened by the naval case. The sharpest critic of President Vladimir Putin was arrested on his return to Moscow in mid-January. He was previously treated after a poison attack in Germany for which he blames the Russian government.
On Tuesday, a Moscow court ruled that Navalny had to go to a penal colony for nearly three years due to a suspended sentence since 2014. Navalny was also on trial in another test, during a visit by a foreign representative of the European Union to Moscow. The case concerns the accusations of defamation of a World War II veteran. 44-year-old Navlani appeared in a glass case filed for the defendants in the court.
Recently tens of thousands of people took to the streets for the release of Navalny and against Kremlin boss Putin and more than 11,000 protesters were arrested. The European Union criticized the police’s action on the opposition.
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