search

Russia expels Estonia ambassador amid ‘destroyed’ relations over Ukraine invasion

Envoy Margus Laidre given until February 7 to leave; mission to be headed by charge d’affaires, in retaliation for Tallinn downsizing Russian embassy staff

In this handout photo taken from video released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Estonian Ambassador to Russian Federation Margus Laidre leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry's building in Moscow, Russia, January 23, 2023. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this handout photo taken from video released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Estonian Ambassador to Russian Federation Margus Laidre leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry's building in Moscow, Russia, January 23, 2023. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

MOSCOW — Russia is expelling Estonia’s ambassador and the country’s diplomatic mission will be headed by a charge d’affaires, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Estonian Ambassador Margus Laidre was ordered to leave the country by February 7, the ministry said.

The statement said that Estonia’s diplomatic representation from now on will be downgraded to a charge d’affaires heading the European Union country’s mission in Moscow.

The ministry said that the move was made in retaliation for Estonia’s “new unfriendly step to radically reduce the size of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn.”

The Estonian Foreign Ministry earlier this month ordered Russia to reduce the number of its embassy staff to eight diplomats and 15 administrative, technical, and service staff members in order to “reach parity in embassy staff” by February 1.

Estonia has reduced its bilateral relations with Moscow “to the absolute minimum” since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in a statement on January 11.

“Now we are setting a limit to the number of Russian diplomats working in Estonia in order to achieve parity. Today’s step is in correlation with the low point of our relations in general,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that “the Estonian leadership has purposefully destroyed the entire range of relations with Russia.”

“Total Russophobia, the cultivation of hostility towards our country have been elevated by Tallinn to the rank of state policy,” the statement read.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.