The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) announced on Monday that Poland’s consul, Slawomir Kowalski, is undesirable as a diplomat in Norway. Poland responded with the same coin.
“As the situation has become, and in line with international practice, a Norwegian diplomat is no longer welcome in Poland” said a statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry on Monday.
Acting Communications Manager, Kristin Enstad, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said it is disappointing that Poland chose this type of retaliation in this case.
‘’We have not received complaints from the Polish authorities about the behavior of Norwegian diplomats in Poland. It is therefore
completely unreasonable that Poland, as a reaction, expels a Norwegian diplomat she said.
“For Norway, this is about the behaviour of a single diplomat in the face of Norwegian authorities and not about the issues he has worked with” she said.
Earlier on Monday, Enstad informed NTB news that Poland’s consul,Slawomir Kowalski was ‘undesirable’ as a diplomat in Norway.
“This happened because his personal behaviour was not compatible with his role and status as a diplomat” she said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received repeated complaints about the consul, which, among other things, were about threatening and partly violent behaviour toward public officials, and that he had prevented them from working.
He has also refused to comply with orders from the police, and on some occasions has been reported to the police. The consul’s behaviour has been repeatedly addressed by the Polish Embassy in recent years.
Had to declare him unwanted
According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Norway is entitled to declare people with diplomatic status in Norway as undesirable. This implies, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an obligation for Poland either to revoke the person in question or to terminate his service at the embassy.
‘’The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the Polish authorities to call home the consul, which is a normal procedure before anyone is deprived of their diploma status with privileges and immunity in Norway. When this request had not been complied with, the UD has had to declare him undesirable as a diplomat in Norway’’ said Enstad.
Child welfare conflicts
Kowalski has been mentioned several times by Norwegian media in connection with cases related to child welfare in Norway. Among other
things, he had contributed actively in assisting Polish families who have been in conflict with the child welfare service.
The UD asked in January that Poland call home the consul, but Poland’s Foreign Minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, stated that the consul would be in office as planned until the end of June.
The Polish Embassy has not responded to NTB’s inquiries about the case.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today