Croatian Foreign Ministry reciprocates by expelling Serbian diplomat

NEWS 22.11.202311:14 0 komentara
Ognjen Stevanovic / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

The Croatian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday responded to Serbia's expulsion of a Croatian diplomat by expelling Petar Novakovic, an advisor at the Serbian Embassy. Pročitaj više

The Serbian Foreign Ministry on Monday declared Hrvoje Snajder, first secretary at the Croatian Embassy, persona non grata because, it said in a statement, he “grossly overstepped diplomatic norms.”

Belgrade media called Snajder a spy. “It is a case of documented espionage and recruitment to work for the Croatian service. This means that the evidence gathered shows that Snajder violated the Vienna Convention that regulates diplomatic and consular relations and as a result he has been declared persona non grata,” the pro-government Vecernje Novosti daily said.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said today Croatia dismissed the grounds for expelling Snajder and was reciprocating.

“In line with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, we decided to declare… Novakovic persona non grata on Croatian territory,” he told the press.

Serbian Ambassador Jelena Milic was served a note on Novakovic’s expulsion, he said.

Asked if Croatia reciprocated more strongly by expelling a higher-ranking diplomat, the minister said “it’s a matter of choice.”

“We reciprocated. Should we have asked them whom to expel?… We weren’t guided either by the diplomatic profession or name.”

Serbia’s decision, he said, “is a step towards a deterioration of the relations and further destabilisation of the delicate regional political and security circumstances.”

He put Serbia’s decision in the context of upcoming elections, saying it could have been expected. Still, he added, the expulsion of the Croatian diplomat is “worrying.”

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