The new German Foreign Minister Annalena Belbok announced on Wednesday that two Russian diplomats in Germany have been declared unwelcome. According to the Berlin court, the decision was made after a Russian was convicted of murder directly commissioned by Moscow.
Germany decided to expel two Russian diplomats on Wednesday, December 15 after a Russian diplomat was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a Chechen opponent in Berlin.
The Russian authorities believe that this ruling may increase diplomatic tensions with Germany and is a “political decision.”
The Berlin court admitted that the man named Vadim Krasikov shot and killed a Georgian from the Chechen minority in a park in Berlin on August 23, 2019. Victim”, according to Olaf Arnoldi, the president of the court.
The new Foreign Minister Annalena Belbok promised to adopt a firmer tone towards Russia than the Merkel administration, declaring that the two Russian diplomats were “unwelcome people.”
She added that the murder on German soil was a “serious attack on national sovereignty” and that this incident has led to the expulsion of Russian and German diplomats in the past.
Tornike Kavtarashvili, a 40-year-old Georgian, was shot and killed three times in the heart of the German capital. This incident poisoned the relationship between the two countries.
Moscow, which has always denied any involvement, condemned a “political” ruling. Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechaev said: “We believe that this decision is not objective. It is a political decision that has seriously aggravated the already difficult Russian-German relationship.”
As a former Chechen separatist leader, the Georgian fought with the Russian army from 2000 to 2004 and has lived with his family in Germany since 2016 and applied for asylum there. He was the victim of a “cold execution,” and the president of the court affirmed that this also deprived the sentenced person of the possibility of requesting a conditional release after 15 years.
Her murderer, the prosecutor called “the commander of the special forces of the Secret Service of the Russian Federal Security Service”, had previously traveled from Moscow to Paris, then to Warsaw, and finally to Berlin.
The fact happened at lunchtime: the murderer approached his victim from behind on a bicycle and fired two shots, then one shot in the head. He was arrested near the murder scene.
During the trial, the defendant denied the prosecution’s identity to him. Through the voice of his lawyer Robert Unger, he claimed to be called Vadim Sokolov, 50 years old, “Russian, single, construction engineer”.
If the Kremlin has consistently denied that he was behind the assassination, then President Putin described the victim as “a very cruel and bloodthirsty soldier.” He claimed to have requested his extradition, but Berlin denied it.
Two expulsions at the end of 2019
At the end of 2019, Germany had expelled two Russian diplomats to protest their lack of cooperation. Moscow responded by firing two German diplomats.
The Kremlin’s opponent Alexei Navalny was poisoned to death before being imprisoned in Russia, and in 2018 by former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, triggering violence against the Russian security services Serious doubts about the role played in the operation. But so far, Moscow’s involvement has never been confirmed, and the Kremlin has consistently denied any responsibility.
These cases have exacerbated a series of diplomatic tensions between Berlin and Moscow. Before the German election, the judiciary launched an investigation into the representative’s cyber espionage, and Berlin suspected that it was behind the Kremlin’s hands. There are also many geopolitical differences, such as the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The new Prime Minister Olaf Schultz once again warned on Wednesday that Moscow will pay a “high price” if the Ukrainian border is violated. Washington, Europeans and Kiev accused Russia of preparing for the invasion of Ukraine for several weeks, but the Kremlin denied it.
AFP and Reuters