The first secretary in the Croatian embassy, Hrvoje Šnajder, was expelled from Serbia for espionage, the portal “Večernje novosti” announced on Monday evening, referring to unofficial sources. This came after the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously announced the decision that the Croatian diplomat was undesirable. Espionage and recruitment to work for the Croatian service were documented, violating the Vienna Convention that regulates diplomatic-consular relations, resulting in being declared persona non grata.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia announced on November 20, 2023, that it made a decision to declare Hrvoje Šnajder persona non grata in accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention. Article 9 states that the receiving state may inform the sending state that a member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata.
Croatia expressed regret over the expulsion of its diplomat from Serbia, noting that it was a “step towards the deterioration” of relations and the destabilization of regional conditions. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) said in a statement that the decision represents a step towards the deterioration of mutual relations and further destabilization of sensitive regional political and security conditions.
It is emphasized that this step represents “additional pressure on the employees of the Croatian embassy in Belgrade, which is particularly manifested during the pre-election period in the Republic of Serbia.” The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs added that it reserves the right to respond to this move “at the time and in the manner it chooses.”