Estonia announces expulsion of a Russian diplomat

Estonia announces expulsion of a Russian diplomat

Estonian Foreign Ministry announced one Russian Embassy employee persona non grata in the diplomatic note, presented to Russian Ambassador Alexander Petrov on Thursday, the Ministry announced.

According to the Ministry, this was a reciprocal step to Russia’s expulsion of Estonian Consul in St. Petersburg Mart Latte.

"We hope that this episode will not harm the bilateral relations between Estonia and Russia. Estonia remains interested in good-neighborly and constructive relations," TASS cited the Foreign Ministry as saying.

Last week, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas promised to provide a symmetrical response to the expulsion of Mart Latte.

On July 6, the Federal Security Service (FSB) press service said that the intelligence officers apprehended Latte in the act of receiving classified information from a Russian citizen. On July 7, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Latte was supposed to leave Russia within 48 hours.

Estonian Foreign Ministry says it considers the diplomat’s apprehension a provocation.