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Estonia expels 3 Russian diplomats for 'undermining security, propaganda'

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Banners and signs supporting Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Tallinn.
Banners and signs supporting Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Three Russian Embassy diplomatic staff members have been declared persona non grata and will be expelled from Estonia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday they have worked to "undermine Estonia's security and spread propaganda".

Undersecretary for Political Affairs Rein Tammsaar handed the Russian ambassador a note and said the diplomats' activities violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. They must now leave Estonia within 72 hours.

"All three have directly and actively undermined Estonia's security and spread propaganda justifying Russia's military action," a statement from the ministry said.

Tammsaar affirmed to the Russian ambassador that Estonia's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is steadfast and Estonia will continue to use all measures at its disposal to support Ukraine.

Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine on February 24 and is still at war with the country.

It is likely Russia will now expel Estonian diplomats in return.

Baltic states coordinate expulsions

The three Baltic states coordinated their actions, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics wrote on social media.

He said Latvia expelled three diplomats for "activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status".

Lithuania has expelled four diplomats and "made such a decision in solidarity with Ukraine, which has been facing unprecedented Russian military aggression," a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Editor's note: This article was updated to include information about Latvia and Lithuania.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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