Poland, Norway expel each other's consuls

2019-02-11 19:49 update: 2019-02-14, 13:44
Photo PAP/Leszek Szymański
Photo PAP/Leszek Szymański
Poland on Monday asked Norway's consul to leave the country in a tit-for-tat response to Oslo's request for Poland's Consul Sławomir Kowalski to leave Norway.

Following Norway's Monday decision to declare Sławomir Kowalski, Poland's consul to Oslo, persona non grata, Poland, acting on reciprocal grounds, presented a note to the ambassador of Norway on identical steps towards a Norwegian consul in Warsaw, Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk announced.

Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk commenting Norway's decision on Twitter wrote it was "extremely unjustified."

In late January, Norway's foreign ministry said it had decided to expel Kowalski known for his struggle with Norway's Barnevernet (child welfare service) over the rights of Polish children. According to the ministry's spokesperson the decision followed Kowalski’s performance in several consular cases which were not in line with his official duties, including his inappropriate conduct towards public officials.

Consul Kowalski has helped some 150 Polish families who faced the loss of custody of their children in Norway under decisions issued by the Barnevernet.

In 2016, Kowalski was named Consul of the Year by Poland’s foreign ministry for his "adequate action and skillful collaboration" with Norwegian authorities "in cases involving underage Polish nationals remaining under the custody of local welfare services." 

Sławomir Kowalski has been given one week to leave Norway. (PAP)

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