The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pushing back against Croatian authorities’ claims regarding the expulsion of a Serbian diplomat, stating that they are “incorrect.” In response, the ministry has requested evidence from the Croatian side to support their decision. This dispute arose after Croatia expelled Petar Novaković, an adviser at the Serbian embassy in Croatia, mirroring Serbia’s expulsion of the first secretary of the Croatian embassy in Belgrade, Hrvoje Šnjader.
Amid questions from journalists about Croatia’s decision to expel a higher-ranking diplomat in retaliation, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman stated that it was a matter of choice. The ministry press release asserted that Novaković did not violate the Vienna Convention’s provisions and was in Croatia for consular, not political, affairs. They also challenged the notion that he could have violated the provisions of the Vienna Convention within two months of taking office. In contrast, the expulsion of Šnajder is said to be based on evidence that represents a severe violation of the Vienna Convention, claims the press release.
Belgrade media have labeled Šnajder as a spy and suggested that he was recruited to work for the Croatian service.