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Diplomats, normally discreet figures who rarely court publicity, have been in the news a lot lately, for all the wrong reasons.In the first case, Dmitri Borodin, the minister councilor at the Russian Embassy in The Hague, was arrested late one night in October of last year, after neighbors alerted the Dutch police that Borodin, allegedly in a drunken state, was beating his two small children. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, diplomats cannot be prosecuted according to a host country's laws. U.S. diplomats were stripped of customary privileges. Threats were made to arrest same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats, because Indian law criminalizes homosexuality.One of the most interesting aspects of these two diplomatic incidents is what it tells us about the new Russian and Indian elite. Diplomats have always represented the face of their country, but their own faces have changed.In the past, diplomats did not actually represent nation-states, but royal courts (in most monarchies this is still officially the case).
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