Latvia also decided to close two Russian consulates general, and Estonia decided to close the Russian consulate and office. In addition, several employees of the Russian Permanent Mission to the EU are recognized as persona non grata alt=”Latvia and Estonia decided to expel 27 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission” />
The building of the Russian Consulate in Estonia
Latvia has decided to expel 13 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission and close two Russian consulates general, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic, Edgars Rinkevics, on Twitter.
“Latvia has decided to close the Russian Consulates General in Daugavpils and Liepaja and expel 13 Russian diplomats and employees.” ;,— written by Rinkevics.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to expel 14 employees of the Russian consulate and close the consulate in Narva and the office in Tartu. The statement of the Estonian Foreign Ministry clarifies that only seven of the 14 mentioned employees have diplomatic status.
“Vice-Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Märt Volmer, who handed over a diplomatic note to the Russian ambassador, stressed that these persons must leave Estonia by April 30, — the message says.
The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said he had decided to expel “a certain number” of diplomats from the Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU. “Today I have decided to declare persona non grata a number of employees of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the European Union for activities that contradict their diplomatic status,” — he said on Twitter.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow would give an “appropriate answer” on the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Latvia and Estonia.
In addition, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Timur Eyvazov and informed him of the decision to reduce the number of employees of the Russian embassy in the country. “The Foreign Ministry also informed the Russian Ambassador of its decision to reduce the number of diplomatic and administrative staff of the Russian Embassy in accordance with Art. 11 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, — the statement says.
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Moscow will respond accordingly to this decision, Zakharova noted.
On April 4, Latvia and Lithuania decided to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia. Vilnius decided to recall its ambassador to Russia, close the Russian consulate general in Klaipeda and ask the Russian ambassador to leave Lithuania.
Estonia has previously stated that they will not lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia and initiate a mutual recall of ambassadors following Lithuania and Latvia. “Each country makes its own decisions, and the situation in Lithuania and Estonia is not exactly the same,” — said the Estonian Vice-Chancellor Volmer.
In addition to the Baltic countries, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Spain also decided to expel Russian diplomats. Berlin will send 40 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission, Paris— 30 (according to BFMTV) or 35 (according to Le Figaro), Stockholm— three, Copenhagen— 15, Rome— 30, Barcelona— 25. Representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that Moscow would respond to all expulsions of diplomats.
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