Russia lowers the level of diplomatic relations with Estonia as a response measure to the Estonia’s actions, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Monday.
“Now Estonia has taken a new unfriendly step to radically reduce the size of the Russian embassy in Tallinn, confirming the line for the collapse of relations between our countries. As a response, the Russian side decided to lower the level of the diplomatic representative in both countries to temporary charge d’affaires,” the Russian Ministry said in a message.
As noted by the Russian side, on January 23, Estonian Ambassador Margus Laidre was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, and a strong protest was made against him in connection with the actions of the Estonian authorities.
“The Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia should leave the Russian Federation on February 7, 2023,” the message informs.
On January 11, it became known that Estonia decided to more than halve the number of Russian diplomats in the republic.
According to the Estonian Foreign Minister, Urmas Reinsalu, the number of employees of the Russian embassy should be reduced to 8 diplomats and 15 seconded administrative, technical and service workers. The Russian embassy in Estonia now employs 21 diplomats and 23 seconded employees, as he said.
He went on saying that given the fact that the staff of the Russian embassy “does not promote relations between Estonia and Russia” in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, “we see that the current size of the Russian representation is not justified.”