Estonia added to Kremlin list of countries deemed 'unfriendly' to Russia

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Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry's press officer. Source: TASS

Russian authorities have placed Estonia on a list of states they consider 'unfriendly', a Kremlin-controlled TV channel announced Tuesday evening. Estonia joins the United States, the United Kingdom and several other blacklisted states.

Russia-1 (Rossiya-1), a state-owned TV channel, reported that the list, which Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova says was the result of a presidential decree, had been compiled on Monday.

The other states on the list of countries deemed unfriendly towards Russia are Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and the Czech Republic.

The last of these is at the center of the furor after ejecting dozens of Russian diplomats last week, in response to a 2014 explosion and an ammunition depot which killed two, thought to be the work of Russian agents.

Estonia followed suit, by opting last Friday to expel one Russian diplomat from its soil, while several other countries, including Latvia and Lithuania, have done the same.

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued the decree in question last week, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, while Russia's foreign ministry has summonsed the Estonian ambassador, along with those of Slovakia and the other two Baltic States, for a meeting Wednesday.

The presidential decree also limits the extent to which diplomatic representations of states on the list can employ people at their missions.

The list and its provisions can also be altered where needed, the decree states.

The organization overseeing participation of Russian participants in this summer's Finno-Ugric World Congress, to be held in Tartu, said at the weekend that representatives from Russia would not be taking part, arguing the event had become politicized.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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