Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Not Every EU Country Jumps to the British Whistle, Austria Rejects Expelling Diplomats

March 27, 2018 (EIRNS)—Although the majority of the 27 EU countries have blindly followed the ranting Theresa May, and expelled Russian diplomats, there is a handful of nations with more self-respect:

Austria: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told media today why his government has not joined most of the other EU member governments in expelling Russian diplomats, saying expulsions contradict the tradition of Austria as a neutral state and a “bridge between East and West.” This implies that diplomats of other countries cannot be sent home, because diplomacy is needed.

Greece: Reportedly so far Greece has not reached a decision on expulsions. A Greek official warned that combining a strong message with expulsion measures would undermine dialogue and lead to a new Cold War.

Czech Republic: The issue has raised a political uproar in the Czech Republic. Yesterday Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced that Prague was expelling three of the diplomats from the Russian Embassy staff of 53. However, President Milos Zeman, who did not publicly comment on the expulsions, has commissioned the Czech Intelligence Service to look into the Russian accusation that the Novichok nerve agent could have been produced and tested in the Czech Republic. The attacks on Zeman were immediate, with the Party of Mayors and Independents suggesting that the President should be impeached on grounds of treason.

Bulgaria: Sophia’s government has so far made no decision to expel Russian diplomats. It has recalled its ambassador to Moscow for consultations. Speaking to reporters in Brussels last week, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said that the EU’s support for Britain was a joint decision which his government supports. But, he said, since Britain had claimed there was high level of possibility that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on the Skripals, he had asked for more evidence before his government makes a decision.

Slovakia: The government in Bratislava seems to be split. President Andrej Kiska has asked the Foreign Ministry to explain why his country has not joined two dozen other countries in expelling Russian diplomats. Slovakian leaders are scheduled to meet to discuss it March 28. The Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador on March 26 to condemn the use of a nerve agent in the attack in Salisbury, and calling it unacceptable, but no Russian diplomats have been expelled from Slovakia so far.

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