Romania Retaliates

Romania is not happy about Russia’s treatment of a Romanian diplomat who has been accused of spying by the FSB. Gabriel Grecu was arrested yesterday and told to leave Russia. Today Romania has decided to retaliate by declaring a Russian diplomat in Romania a persona non grata. The AFP reports:

Romania accused Russian authorities of a “serious violation” of diplomatic protocol by detaining their diplomat.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the serious violation by the Russian authorities of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic protocol of 1961 by the detention during the day of August 16 of a Romanian diplomat accredited to Moscow and the completely inadequate treatment to which they subjected him,” it said in a statement…

…Relations between Russia and Romania, now a NATO member, have grownmore tense since Bucharest’s decision to host three batteries ofinterceptor missiles as part of a planned US defence shield in Europe.

In February, Russia said it has “serious questions regarding the truepurpose of the US missile system,” and denounced the lack oftransparency by Bucharest and Washington on the issue.

Romanian officials, like the Americans, have numerous times reassured Moscow the system is purely defensive.

“The current episode is just one event in a bilateral relationship thatunfortunately has not evolved as some of us would have liked … andwhich is in a bad state,” said the chairman of the Romanian Senate’snational security committee, Teodor Melescanu.