Brussels 03.08.2021 Estonian Ambassador to Moscow Margus Laidre was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry Tuesday, August 3, where he was informed about the expulsion of an Estonian diplomat within seven days, the Ministry announced on its website.(Image: Moscow, City)
“Estonian Ambassador to Russia Margus Laidre was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. He was presented with a decisive protest and a note saying that one Estonian embassy employee must leave Russia within seven days under the principle of reciprocity,” reads the announcement.
The diplomats warned Estonia against escalating the situation.
“Otherwise, a decisive response from the Russian Foreign Ministry will follow. Meanwhile, all responsibility for the deterioration of bilateral relations will lie entirely with the Estonian side,” the Ministry said.
On July 15, Estonian Foreign Ministry expelled a Russian diplomat as a response to expulsion of Estonian consul in St. Petersburg Mart Latte, who was previously apprehended by the Federal Security Service while receiving classified materials. The intelligence service underscored that “such activity is incompatible with the diplomatic status and is openly hostile towards the Russian Federation.”
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It seems that Russia is trying to implement new policy regarding the diplomatic relations and Vienna Convention. Whenever and wherever Russian diplomats were expelled (and there are many, see some latest examples below)due to activities not incompatible with their role and status as a diplomats, it has so far ended with expulsion of the same number of the diplomats of the respective countries. No further actions. In the light of the latest move to expel Estonian diplomat, it seems that Russia has reserved for itself the right to take it further and to respond to tit-for-tat move with new expulsion. Sure, perfection and human stupidity have no limits, but such move will most likely back fire, because diplomacy is not game of poker, as some people in Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs like to think.
1. On March 22, in 2021 Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats accused by Bulgarian prosecutors of espionage.
2. On December 20, in 2020 The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) announced that the two diplomats from the Russian embassy in the Hague had been declared “persona non grata” and would leave the country “shortly”.”
3. On 19 August in 2020 Norway expelled a Russian diplomat linked to the case of a Norwegian national recently arrested on espionage charges.
4. On March 31, in 2021 Italy expelled two Russian diplomats for their involvement in espionage.
5. On 24 August in 2020 Austria expelled a Russian diplomat as his behaviour was not compatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations