Kallas: Estonia will expel Russian diplomat

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Russian Embassy on Pikk tänav in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Estonia will expel a Russian diplomat in response to Russia expelling Estonian Consul Mart Lätte, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Thursday.

"In the practice of international relations, it is common that if one side expels a diplomat, there is a symmetrical response from the other side Yes, we also have a plan to take such a step," Kallas said at a government press conference.

"A symmetrical response is certainly to be expected," she added.

Lätte was detained for approximately 90 minutes on Tuesday in St. Petersburg after a visit to Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.

The FSB on Wednesday said that Lätte had been detained while trying to receive classified information from a Russian citizen. He was then declared persona non grata and given 48 hours to leave the country.

The prime minister said the incident in St. Petersburg was a provocation by the security services against an Estonian diplomatic representative. 

On Tuesday, the Estonian Foreign Ministry called Latte's detention "a show" and a provocation. Ministry spokesperson Aari Lemmik said: "The activities of the FSB are a setup, the accusations are unfounded. This is another example of Russia's lack of interest in friendly relations with neighboring countries."

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Editor: Helen Wright

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