This week, Belarus announced that the Estonian mission in Minsk would be reduced to one diplomat. Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) told ERR that Estonia responded symmetrically.
"The situation at the Estonian embassy in Minsk has deteriorated to the point where the Lukashenko administration has decided to limit the size of the mission in an unfriendly action or as a form of pressure against Estonia," Reinsalu said.
Belarus restricted Estonia to only one diplomat and one technical assistant.
Reinsalu confirmed that these people will remain in place, while the rest of the Estonian embassy staff has already returned, or is on their way back to Estonia.
In response, the Estonian Foreign Ministry summoned Belarusian diplomats on Wednesday and stated that the principle of symmetry will be applied to the Belarusian embassy.
"As a result, one diplomat will continue to work at the embassy in Estonia," Reinsalu said, adding that Belarusian diplomats are expected to leave Estonia in the coming days.
Reinsalu added that Estonia will be sending a special representative to the Lithuanian Embassy to continue contact with the Belarusian democratic movement, a large section of whose are headquartered in Vilnius.
Editor: Kristina Kersa