The Estonian Ambassador to Moscow, Margus Laidre, was recognized by Russia as an undesirable person. He is to leave the country within a week, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. The decision is supposed to be a response to Estonia’s expulsion of a diplomat from Russia.
The Russian diplomacy ministry said in a press release that the Estonian ambassador to Moscow, Margus Laidre, had been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was handed a note “in which it was indicated that, on the basis of reciprocity, an employee of the Estonian diplomatic mission in Moscow is considered persona non grata” – the communique reads.
The Russian ministry said it was calling on Estonia to “stop and not complicate the situation” – otherwise Russia would give “a firm new answer”.
Detention of the Estonian consul
On July 6, the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia announced that it detained the consul from the Estonian consulate in St. Petersburg at a time “when he was receiving secret material from a Russian citizen, unavailable to Estonian diplomats.”
The Estonian Foreign Ministry stated in response that the arrest of the diplomat was “arranged”, constituted a provocation, and that the charges against him were unfounded. In reaction to the actions of the Russian side, one of the diplomats of the Russian embassy in Tallinn was considered persona non grata.
Main photo source: Reuters Archive