Syria cuts diplomatic ties with Ukraine

Damascus says it was a tit-for-tat move

Damascus has cut diplomatic ties with Kiev, the Syrian foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.

This comes in response to a similar step by Ukraine last month that followed Syria’s recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

“The Syrian Arab Republic has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Ukraine in line with the principle of reciprocity and in response to the Ukrainian government’s decision to do so,” the ministry announced on its website.

Kiev said it was cutting diplomatic relations with Syria in late June in response to the decision by Damascus to follow Russia’s example and recognize the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.

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“There will be no relations between Ukraine and Syria” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said back then, threatening Damascus with sanctions.

Kiev closed its embassy in Syria in 2016, accusing the country’s president, Bashar Assad of crimes against his own people, and in 2018 it ordered Syrian diplomats out of Ukraine.

Damascus is a close ally of Moscow. In 2015, Russia sent an expeditionary force to Syria at the request of Damascus, to help it defeat IS and other terrorist groups.

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