Estonia summons Russian ambassador over EU citizens' entry ban

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian ambassador Alexander Petrov to protest the ban on entry for EU citizens and the regulation on unfriendly countries and to express solidarity with Bulgaria.

The ministry told Ambassador Alexander Petrov about the statement by the European Union issued on Saturday (May 1), condemning Russia's decision to impose a ban on entry "devoid of any legal justification against representatives of European Union institutions and citizens of five member states who are standing up for European values".

One of the citizens who was handed an entry ban was Ilmar Tomusk, the head of the Estonian Language Inspectorate.

The ministry said Tomusk "has worked hard and consistently to protect and promote the Estonian language. Estonia considers it surprising and remarkable that it is this activity that Russia deems necessary to condemn".

"The European Union has condemned the action. Russia cannot undermine the commitment of the European Union to the protection of human rights, democracy and international law, and prevent the European Union from holding those responsible for human rights violations to account," a statement issued on Thursday said.

The ministry also stressed that the European Union considered the regulation signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 23 on unfriendly activities of foreign countries unjustified and unacceptable.

The regulation violates the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the ministry said.

"The planned arbitrary measures against unfriendly foreign countries is another provocative strep by Russia aimed at escalating tensions with the European Union. Along with Russia's recent threatening rhetoric about red lines and asymmetric responses, it demonstrates that Russia has chosen the path of confrontation instead of seeking to reverse the negative trajectory of EU-Russia relations. The European Union and member states remain ready to respond in a coordinated manner and in close cooperation with their partners."

The ministry also affirmed Estonia's solidarity with Bulgaria. Several Russian nationals are suspected of organizing explosions and attempted murder in investigations into the explosions in weapons warehouses in the country between 2011 and 2020.

A note of protest was also handed to the ambassador about the violation of Estonian airspace which occurred on Thursday.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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