Kazakhstan expels Ukrainian ambassador

Published (modified )
Senior news correspondent
The two countries are negotiating about a new ambassador

Petr Vrublevskiy, Ambassador of Ukraine to Kazakhstan, is no longer welcomed after a scandal with his provocative interview, according to Aybek Smadiyarov, official spokesperson of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry.

Currently, the agency is considering a new candidate for the position that Ukraine has already proposed.

«I’d like to note that we and our Ukrainian counterparts have a similar understanding of this issue. The current ambassador now is no longer welcomed in Kazakhstan and no other meetings or discussions are planned,» Smadiyarov said.

He also commented on the statement by Maria Zakharova, the official spokeswoman of the Russian MFA, who said that Vrublevskiy came back to Astana which is unacceptable.

«The tone of her statement in our opinion is something different from what relations between close and equal allies should look like. As you know, we have already announced our official position toward the provocative behavior of Mr. Vrublevskiy to our Ukrainian counterparts and the public,» Aybek Smadiyarov noted.

According to the official, Kazakhstan’s MFA informed its Ukrainian partners that what Petr Vrublevskiy has said hurt «the feelings of Kazakhstani people, especially those who are ethnic Russians.»

«We told Ukrainian colleges that such statements can’t be tolerated when it comes from an ambassador and Ukraine agreed with us and confirmed it will withdraw the ambassador,» the spokesperson said. He also added that the MFA is going to summon the Russian Ambassador.

Earlier this week the Russian MFA summoned Ermek Kosherbayev, Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Russia, to discuss the situation with Vrublevskiy. The MFA said that Russia won’t tolerate this situation and hoped that Kazakhstan’s authorities won’t “follow Kiev’s rules” and will expel the ambassador.

Petr Vrublevskiy found himself in the epicenter of the scandal when he said that Ukraine was going to kill as many Russians as it could. He made this statement during an interview with Kazakhstani blogger Diyas Kuzairov. Kazakhstan’s MFA voiced its objection to such rhetoric. As a result, Vrublevskiy expressed his regrets about these words.

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