The Netherlands on Monday formally withdrew its ambassador to Turkey over a 2017 row and the talks between two countries are suspended. Relations between the two countries are under pressure since April 16 presidential referendum in Turkey, when Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a plane carrying Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on March 11. The Dutch government also expelled Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam, blocking her from addressing the Turkish community in the Netherlands ahead of the referendum. Dutch Foreign Ministry Zijlstra in a statement said: “The Netherlands and Turkey have recently held talks at various levels. At this stage, these talks do not yet offer a perspective to normalizing the bilateral relations”. A Dutch diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News in Ankara that the two parties “could not find the mutual concession balance in the negotiations”, expressing disappointment at the development, which goes against the two countries’ “400-year history of friendship”. The diplomat underlined that the Dutch government’s decision to withdraw the ambassador from Turkey was about reassign him to a new post, as he has not been able to return to his duties in Ankara.
Serbian Foreign Minister confirmed he wants to maintain the good relations with Ukraine, after Ukraine’s ambassador to Belgrade Aleksandrovych’s statement about Russia using Serbia to provoke a new war in the Balkans. FM Dacic explained why Aleksandrovych had to wait for 14 months for an audience with him, given that the same treatment, according to Dacic, was used against the ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Ukrain, Bulatovic. He also clarified why Serbia voted “against Ukraine” (against the UN resolution for human rights in Crimea): Ukraine supports the Western countries’ proposals to change the mandate of the UNMIK in Kosovo, a solution which is opposed by Serbia. Moreover, Ukraine acted against Serbia’s interests staying “out of the room” during the voting on membership of Kosovo in UNESCO in 2015.
Ukrainian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko says that Canada denied a visa to 34% of Ukrainian applicants in the first three months of 2017, according to the Ukrainian portal Censor.net. “We now have a catastrophically large share of denials of Canadian visas to Ukrainians. [This is] a critically large percentage of denials. If last year the number of denials decreased to 24%, then this year 34% of Ukrainians were denied Canadian visas in the first quarter”, he told Censor.net. Shevchenko says this is connected with outdated assessments of Ukrainians and the associated migration risks prevailing in consulates and embassies. “And it seems to me that the visa-free regime with the European Union should encourage our Canadian friends to reevaluate this story. Ukraine is not currently among the countries with the highest migration risks”, the ambassador said. At the same time, he mentioned positive changes in the visa processing procedure. On June 16, Canadian MP from the Liberal Party Borys Wrzesnewskyj called for the abolition of visas for Ukrainians, following the EU’s example.