The Croatian embassy’s first secretary, Hrvoje Šnajder, was recently expelled from Serbia due to espionage allegations. According to the government-friendly Večernje Novosti, the decision was made by the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, November 20th, 2023. This action was taken in accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention, which governs diplomatic and consular relations.
While the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not provide additional details about Šnajder’s expulsion, sources close to Večernje Novosti claim that evidence of espionage and recruitment for Croatian service led to his persona non grata declaration. It is believed that Šnajder violated the Vienna Convention with his actions.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) of Croatia expressed regret over Šnajder’s expulsion and stated that it represents a step towards deteriorating mutual relations between Croatia and Serbia. The MVEP emphasized that this decision places additional pressure on employees of the Croatian embassy in Belgrade during a sensitive pre-election period in Serbia.
The MVEP also reserved the right to respond to Serbia’s decision “at the time and in the manner it chooses.” The situation has caused strained relations between Croatia and Serbia.