Russia declares Baltic states' consular missions personae non-gratae
The Russian FM summons ambassadors of Latvia and Estonia, as well as the Lithuanian charge d'affaires, and decides to expel the consular officials of these countries.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that it had summoned the ambassadors of Latvia and Estonia, as well as the Lithuanian charge d'affaires, to hand them notes of protest in connection with unfriendly actions to close the Russian consulates general in these nations.
The ministry said, "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."
In a statement, the Russian ministry pointed out that "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)."
On the basis of the principle of reciprocity, as well as taking into account the provision by the authorities of these countries of military assistance to Kiev, the Ministry also announced the decision to withdraw consent to the activities of the Consulate General of Latvia in St. Petersburg, the Consulate General of Latvia in Pskov, the Consulate General of Estonia in St. Petersburg and its office in Pskov, and the Consulate General of Lithuania in St. Petersburg.
"The heads and other consular officials of the Estonian and Latvian consular missions in question are declared personae non-gratae, and consular employees and employees of the administrative and technical staff of the institutions in question who are not Russian citizens are declared unacceptable," the statement read.
It added that these people must leave Russia within the same time frame that was set for the departure of employees of Russian consular missions from these countries.