Russia expels all staffers of Baltic countries' consulates

TEHRAN, Apr. 21 (MNA) – Russia has declared all employees of the embassies of Baltic countries, among which are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, personae non gratae.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it had summoned the ambassadors of Latvia and Estonia, along with Lithuania's charge d'affaires, handing them notes of protest in connection with the "unfriendly actions" of these countries.

"On April 21, Ambassador of Latvia [Maris] Riekstins, Ambassador of Estonia [Margus] Laidre and Charge d'Affaires of Lithuania [Virginija] Umbrasiene were summoned to the Russian foreign ministry. The heads of the diplomatic missions have been strongly protested in connection with unfriendly actions to close the Russian Consulates General in Klaipeda, Liepaja, Daugavpils, Narva and the chancellery of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Estonia (Tartu)," the ministry said in a statement, according to Sputnik.

The ministry also announced that the consulates of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in St. Petersburg, along with the consulate of Latvia in Pskov, will be closed.

Earlier in the month, the Estonian Foreign Ministry said it will close the Russian consulate general in Narva and the embassy office in Tartu. Latvia, in its turn, has shut down the Russian consulates in Liepaja and Daugavpils, and Lithuania also closed the Klaipeda consulate.

Moscow's move to declare the Baltic countries' diplomatic staffers personae non gratae comes shortly after a handful of European countries expelled Russian diplomats over Russia's ongoing military operation in Ukraine. Among the countries that booted out Russian envoys are Denmark, Italy, France, Sweden, Spain and many other nations, including the Baltic states.

ZZ/Pr

News Code 185973

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