The Russian Federation has decided to expel ten diplomats of the Baltic states – three each from Estonia and Latvia and four from Lithuania – in response to a similar move by the latter.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that diplomats expelled included people from the Estonian Embassy and the Pskov office of its consulate general in Saint Petersburg.
The ambassadors in Russia of the three Baltic states were notified of the decision.
Moscow demanded that diplomats declared persona non grata "leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the same time that its diplomatic representatives were given to leave the Baltics."
Estonia and Latvia previously declared a total of six Russian diplomats persona non grata, while four were expelled from Lithuania.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release that it considers "extremely regrettable" the Russian Federation's decision to declare persona non grata and order to leave the country in three days three Estonian diplomats who have based their actions solely on the letter and spirit of the Vienna Convention.
The ministry confirmed that Estonia expelled three employees of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn with diplomatic status who were "actively engaging in undermining Estonian national security" the week before last.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said its decision to expel Russian diplomats was to "demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine where Russia's unprecedented military aggression is unfolding."
Also, that the diplomats' activities were not in accordance with their tasks, which phrasing is usually reserved for intelligence operatives working under diplomatic cover.
Editor: Marcus Turovski