Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia)

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Three European diplomats expelled from Russia
Sergei Lavrov (left) and Josep Borrell
Sergei Lavrov (left) and Josep Borrell Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Three diplomats from the EU have been expelled from Russia over their alleged participation in protests in support of Alexei Navalny, the jailed opposition activist who was jailed this week.

The expulsion of the diplomats, from Germany, Sweden and Poland, comes only hours after the EU's foreign affairs chief - Josep Borrell - met his counterpart Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

In response to the expulsion, Sweden called it "totally unfounded" and denied their diplomat had participated in any demonstration, and German's foreign ministry said that it was "in no way justified" and would retaliate if Russia did not reconsider the action.

Russia's foreign ministry said that the 3 diplomats allegedly took part in "illegal demonstrations" on 23 January.

Regional News • Middle East
U.S. unilaterally declares U.N. sanctions on Iran are back in force
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Credit: Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The United States unilaterally proclaimed on Saturday that United Nations sanctions against Iran are back in force. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Pompeo also stated "If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity."

In a joint letter to the U.N. Security Council, France, Germany, and United Kingdom said "Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing [the sanctions] would be incapable of legal effect."

And the Russian foreign ministry stated "The illegitimate initiatives and actions of the United States by definition cannot have international legal consequences for other countries."