On Monday, November 20, 2023, Hrvoje Šnajder was expelled from Serbia for espionage. The decision was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia in accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention, which regulates diplomatic-consular relations. The Vienna Convention states that a receiving state may declare a member of the diplomatic staff persona non grata at any time and without the obligation to explain its decision.
According to pro-government Večernje Novosti, evidence of espionage and recruitment to work for the Croatian service led to Šnajder’s expulsion. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not provide further details about the reasons behind his expulsion. However, they emphasized that it was a violation of the Vienna Convention and that they reserve the right to respond to Serbia’s decision “at the time and in the manner it chooses.”
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) of Croatia expressed regret over Šnajder’s expulsion. They stated that it represents a step towards deterioration in mutual relations between Croatia and Serbia and further destabilization of sensitive regional political and security conditions in Southeast Europe. This additional pressure on employees of the Croatian embassy in Belgrade during pre-election season has led to strained relations between two countries.