Officials: Estonia's Moscow embassy well prepared if threats arise

Estonian Embassy building,  in Moscow.
Estonian Embassy building, in Moscow. Source: KAOS Arhitektid

Despite threats, the Estonian Embassy in Moscow has no problems with security and threat analyses are regularly carried out, officials told newspaper Postimees.

The newspaper asked questions about the embassy's safety after Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said people could throw stones at the premises after discussions about the Russian tourist visa ban.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said additional measures will be taken if threats are detected and according to the Vienna Convention, the security of the embassy rests with the host country.

Estonian ambassador to Russia Margus Laidre said they have received threatening emails but the situation is under control and work is being carried out as usual.

Additionally, a large model rock painted with an Estonia flag and with a noose around it was brought to the embassy on Monday.

However, Laidre said the situation is not compatible with the Bronze Soldier riots in 2007 when the Moscow embassy was attacked.

He said, in connection to the comments, additional Russian police officers are patrolling outside the embassy to prevent any trouble and the embassy also has its own Estonian security guards.

MEP and former ambassador to Russia Marina Kaljurand (SDE) and MEP and former foreign minister Urmas Paet (Reform) were skeptical of the Russian police presence.

"If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that you can now start throwing stones, it is actually a direct call for violence against our diplomats and embassy," Kaljurand said.

Paet told Postimees: "At that time [2007], the Russian state could not guarantee the safety of diplomats and the embassy, ​​and now, when there is war in Ukraine, I have no illusions that the Russian state would do anything to protect the Estonian Embassy."


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Editor: Helen Wright

Source: Postimees

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