Federal Foreign Office

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany expels Russian diplomat in tit-for-tat move
Russian Embassy in Berlin
Russian Embassy in Berlin Credit: Fred Romero (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The German government has declared a Russian diplomat "persona non grata" in response to Moscow's expulsion of EU diplomats last week. Poland and Sweden have made similar announcements.

Russia said the expelled diplomats had participated in a demonstration in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, but Germany disputed this.

"The German diplomat was merely carrying out his task of reporting on developments on the spot in a legal fashion," the Federal Foreign Office of Germany wrote on a statement.

Regional News • World
European leaders demand Navalny's immediate release

Multiple European leaders, including German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and European Council President Charles Michel, have demanded Alexei Navalny's immediate release on Monday.

“Russia is bound by its own constitution and by international obligations to the principle of the rule of law and to the protection of civil rights,” Maas said in a statement. “These principles must, of course, be applied to Alexei Navalny as well. He should be released immediately.”

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Germany starts using new government jet Airbus A350-900

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) was allowed to use the Airbus A350-900 for the first time for a trip to Egypt.

The new jet is 67 meters long, can reach speeds of up to 960 kilometers per hour, flies more than 13,000 meters high and can reach any destination worldwide without a stopover.

Being the the first of three new acquisitions, the two other A350-900s are to be delivered for the Bundeswehr's "white fleet" by 2022.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Government advises against travel to Aragon, Navarra, and Catalonia
La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain Credit: Lucrezia Carnelos

Germany's Foreign Ministry issued a notice warning against tourist travel to the Spanish regions of Aragon, Navarra, and Catalonia after a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Ministry website states: “We currently advise against unnecessary tourist trips to the autonomous communities of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre due to high infection numbers and local lockdowns,”.

Bernat Sole, Catalonia's foreign affairs chief, said: "We do not get into evaluating the decisions by other countries but we obviously don't share it. The Catalan government is responsible … and we are working to protect the life and health of people that live here or are visiting us,".

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany accused of discrimination after the removal of the Taiwan flag from the Foreign Ministry website
Screenshot of the Federal Foreign Office website
Screenshot of the Federal Foreign Office website Credit: Federal Foreign Office

The Taiwanese Government reacted with dismay to the German Foreign Ministry's decision to remove Taiwan's national flag from its website.

Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Joanne Ou on Monday stated that the ministry "could not accept this kind of discrimination", because the page introducing Taiwan is inconsistent with other countries or regions.

When asked during a press conference about the decision, Rainer Breul, the foreign ministry representative, claimed the change was in keeping with Germany's "one China policy.".