Russia expels Estonian ambassador
Diplomatic scandal: Moscow wants to downgrade diplomatic relations with the Baltic state. Background: Estonia’s demand for staff reductions at the Russian embassy.
Amid tensions with Estonia, Russia has expelled the Baltic EU and NATO member’s ambassador. “The ambassador of the Republic of Estonia has to leave the Russian Federation on February 7,” the Foreign Ministry announced in Moscow.
Diplomatic relations with the Baltic state would be downgraded, it said. The background is a diplomatic dispute over the number of embassy and consular staff.
Estonia had previously called for a staff reduction at the Russian embassy in Tallinn. This is intended to achieve a level playing field at the diplomatic level. For its part, Russia spoke of a “new unfriendly step” aimed at breaking off relations. After the Estonian ambassador was expelled, a chargé d’affaires took over the representation of Estonia in Moscow.
Relations between Russia and the Baltic states have been fraught with conflict for years – also because of the different perspectives on the Soviet past. The beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine last February has again significantly increased tensions.