ALBAWABA - Russia has expelled Estonia’s ambassador and will be downgrading relations with the European nation in the wake of increased tension with Tallinn over Moscow's war in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Estonian Ambassador Margus Laidre was ordered to leave Moscow by Feb. 7 and that his country's representation will be downgraded to a charge d'affaires, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
#Russia downgrades diplomatic relations with #Estonia due to "#Russophobia" and in response to staff cuts at the Russian embassy.— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) January 23, 2023
The Estonian ambassador is ordered to leave Russia. pic.twitter.com/FidnIIswDy
"In recent years, the Estonian leadership has purposefully destroyed the entire range of relations with Russia. Total Russophobia, the cultivation of hostility towards our country have been elevated by Tallinn to the rank of state policy," the Foreign Ministry claimed.
⚡️Estonian Ambassador Margus Laidre is going to leave russia on February 7, as russia has decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with Tallinn. This is stated in the statement of the russian ministry of foreign affairs. pic.twitter.com/6gfItq9zfJ— FLASH (@Flash_news_ua) January 23, 2023
The ministry said that the move was in retaliation for Estonia’s "new unfriendly step to radically reduce the size of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn."
Earlier in January, the Estonian Foreign Ministry ordered Russia to reduce the number of its embassy staff to eight diplomats and 15 administrative, technical and service staff members. It said the move was aimed at reaching "parity in embassy staff" by Feb. 1.
Last week, Estonia also announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth €113 million ($123 million).
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