Estonian Ambassador to Russia Margus Laidre left the country on the morning of February 7, reports citing a RIA Novosti source.
Laidre thus complied with the requirement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which had earlier downgraded the level of Estonian diplomatic representation in the country to charge d’affaires.
At the end of January, the Estonian ambassador was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where they protested “in connection with the actions of the Estonian authorities” and ordered to leave the Russian Federation until February 7, 2023.
In the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to this declaredthat adhere to the principle of parity in relations with Russia, which means that the Russian ambassador will leave the country at the same time as the Estonian ambassador to Russia. As a sign of solidarity with Estonia, Latvia announced a downgrading of diplomatic relations with Russia.
Estonia previously announced that the number of Russian embassy staff should be reduced to eight diplomats (now 21) and 15 seconded administrative, technical and service workers (23).
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu explained that the decision was made “in order to achieve parity or equivalence in the number of posts in the embassy, which means that the number of posted posts in Russian and Estonian representative offices operating in the capitals will be equalized.”
Estonia previously announced the closure of the Russian Consulate General in Narva and the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Tartu, and also expelled 14 consular employees from the country, seven of whom had diplomatic status. In response, Russia announced the closure of the Estonian Consulate General in St. Petersburg and its office in Pskov.
In October 2022, the Estonian parliament approved a resolution condemning the annexation of Ukrainian territories and declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. It is emphasized that Estonia will never recognize the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine as a result of aggression and the holding of rigged referendums. “It is never possible to create law through transgression. The Putin regime, threatening nuclear weapons, has made Russia the biggest threat to peace both in Europe and throughout the world,” the resolution says.
Estonia also calls for the establishment of a special international tribunal to bring those responsible for the aggression to justice.
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