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News > Country

Russia Hits Back by Expelling Baltic Diplomats From the Country

  • Russian FM announced the expulsion of Baltic countries' diplomats. Mar. 29, 2022.

    Russian FM announced the expulsion of Baltic countries' diplomats. Mar. 29, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@mfa_russia

Published 29 March 2022

Recently, three countries have expelled Russian diplomats as a sanction for launching a Russian special military operation, which is an ‘unjustified’ move according to the Kremlin.

As a coercive measure against Russia because of the special military operation launched in Ukraine last February 24, some Baltic states have removed Russian diplomatic staff from their embassy. In response, the Kremlin decided to expel ten diplomats from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

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On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement where it expressed “a resolute protest against [the] provocative, unjustified actions” of these countries. Taking the basis of the principle of reciprocity,  Russia has expelled four employees of the Embassy of Lithuania and three of the Embassy of Latvia, alongside three representatives of Estonia, stationed in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

According to the FM's statement, “they are ordered to leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the same time frames that were set aside for the departure of employees of the Russian diplomatic missions in the Baltic countries.” ON March 18, some Baltic nations announced that several of the Russian diplomats were designated as persona non-grata, alleging they had committed actions that violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Accusations of “spreading disinformation, poised to justify Russia’s military actions” were among the justification for the removal of the Russian envoys, to which the Russian Foreign Ministry responded by saying that “all groundless expulsions of Russian diplomats will be met with an appropriate response.”

Regardless of the Russian FM statement, Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics claimed that Moscow's authorities kicked out his country’s diplomats “unjustifiably.”

The expulsion of Russian staff from the countries came following the Russian order to three Slovak diplomats to leave Moscow within 72 hours, the same step taken by that country. The current diplomatic war between the West and Moscow has worsened because of Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, resulting in a number of European countries expelling Russian envoys.

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