The Croatian embassy’s first secretary in Serbia, Hrvoje Šnajder, has been expelled from the country for espionage. According to Večernje Novosti, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the decision on Monday, November 20th, 2023. This decision was made in accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention, which governs diplomatic-consular relations.
While no further details were provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia regarding the reasons behind Šnajder’s expulsion, it was reported that evidence of espionage and recruitment for work with Croatian services had been documented. As a result, it was deemed that Šnajder had violated the Vienna Convention and was declared persona non grata.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) of Croatia expressed regret over the expulsion of their diplomat from Serbia. They stated that this decision represented a step towards deteriorating mutual relations and further destabilizing sensitive regional political and security conditions in Southeast Europe. The MVEP emphasized that this additional pressure on employees at the Croatian embassy in Belgrade during pre-election period in Serbia added to their already strained relations with neighboring country.
The MVEP also reserved the right to respond to Serbia’s decision “at the time and in the manner it chooses.” Overall, this situation has led to tense relations between Croatia and Serbia.