The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has challenged the claims made by Croatian authorities regarding the expulsion of a Serbian diplomat, calling them “incorrect.” In response to this dispute, they have requested evidence from the Croatian side to support their decision. The disagreement between the two countries began after Croatia expelled Petar Novaković, an adviser at the Serbian embassy in Croatia, and mirrored Serbia’s expulsion of the first secretary of the Croatian embassy in Belgrade, Hrvoje Šnjader.
Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman has stated that it was a matter of choice when asked about questions from journalists about why a higher-ranking diplomat was expelled. According to the ministry press release, Novaković did not violate Vienna Convention provisions and was in Croatia for consular affairs only. They also questioned whether he could have violated Vienna Convention provisions within two months of taking office. However, Šnajder’s expulsion is said to be based on evidence that represents a severe violation of Vienna Convention provisions according to the press release.
Belgrade media have labeled Šnajder as a spy and suggested that he was recruited to work for the Croatian service. This adds another layer of complexity to an already tense situation between Serbia and Croatia.