Croatia Expels One Russian Diplomat

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 26, 2018 – Croatia is one of the 14 European Union member states that, together with the United States, are expelling Russian diplomats in a co-ordinated response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK.

“Today we will make a formal decision to declare a Russian diplomat accredited in Croatia a persona non grata,” Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said, adding that Croatia was thus showing solidarity with the UK in accordance with the conclusions of a recent European Union summit.

Plenković said the decision was made following consultations with relevant ministries, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović. “This is a political message of solidarity, given the character of the attack in the UK which is our ally and partner in the EU and NATO,” Plenković said, declining to comment on the possibility of Moscow responding in a reciprocal fashion and reveal the name of the Russian diplomat to be expelled.

Plenković also extended his condolences to Russia following a terrible fire that broke out in a shopping and entertainment mall in Kamerovo, Siberia, killing at least 64 people. Plenković said he had sent a letter of condolence to Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev.

US President Donald Trump has ordered 60 Russian diplomats to leave the country — 48 envoys at the Russian embassy in Washington and 12 more at the UN in New York. The US will also order the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. Germany, France, Ukraine, Canada and various European countries have also expelled envoys.

EU leaders agreed last week it was highly likely Russia was behind the nerve-agent poisoning. President of the European Council Donald Tusk said 14 EU states had decided to expel Russian diplomats as a direct result of a meeting, held last week, about the Salisbury poisoning. “Additional measures, including further expulsions within this common EU framework are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks,” he said.

The Russian foreign ministry said the moves demonstrated a continuation of a “confrontational path.” “It goes without saying that this unfriendly act by this group of countries will not go without notice and we will react to it,” its statement said.


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