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Feb 19, 2021
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Strong protest: Russia expels Estonian embassy official in response to Tallinn’s actions

Estonia “absolutely groundlessly” declared a Russian diplomat involved in culture and education persona non grata. In this regard, Moscow announced the expulsion of an employee of the Estonian embassy. This was stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. She believes that by his actions Tallinn wanted to demonstrate loyalty to the US and the EU. According to experts, Estonia has been pursuing an anti-Russian policy over the past years.

Russia expels an employee of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow in response to Tallinn’s announcement of a Russian diplomat persona non grata. This was stated during the weekly briefing by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova. She stressed that the decision of the Estonian side was “absolutely groundless”.

“The recently sworn-in new government of Estonia, perhaps deciding in this way to show loyalty to its curators in Washington, Brussels, absolutely groundlessly declared the diplomat of the Russian Embassy in Estonia persona non grata. The Russian response was not long in coming, ”Zakharova said.

According to her, in connection with the incident, the Estonian ambassador in Moscow was summoned, to whom they expressed a strong protest and announced the expulsion of one of the diplomats of the Estonian diplomatic mission.

Zakharova stressed that the Russian diplomat expelled from Estonia dealt with issues of culture and education: “These are the areas where cooperation between countries is still preserved”.

“Unfortunately, the Estonian side has once again demonstrated its unwillingness to overcome its unprovoked hostility,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said, stressing that Moscow is consistently pursuing a policy of developing good-neighborly relations with border states.

  • The building of the Russian embassy in Tallinn
  • RIA News
  • © Vadim Antsupov

Estonia continues to follow its standard anti-Russian policy of recent years. This opinion was expressed in an interview with RT by Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics at Moscow State Pedagogical University. According to him, Russian diplomats are also being expelled “for no reason or apparent reason” by the authorities of a number of Central and Eastern European countries.

“This can be explained either by direct instructions from the Washington curators, or by the desire to run ahead and demonstrate their loyalty. Naturally, the change of power in Washington also dictates to the Estonian Cabinet of Ministers the need to prove itself, to demonstrate its loyalty, and in this case it resembles the situation of “shouting louder than neighbors”. Latvia has already carried out its cry by blocking 16 Russian TV channels, now it is Estonia’s turn, ”the expert explained.

It should be noted that this is not the first time over the past month that Russia has expelled foreign diplomats.

On February 5, Moscow declared three diplomats from Poland, Sweden and Germany persona non grata in connection with their participation in illegal actions on January 23, which is a violation of the Vienna Convention. Three days later, on February 8, Warsaw, Stockholm and Berlin announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats from their countries. According to the official representative of Russia, Maria Zakharova, these states have made “unfounded and unfriendly decisions.”

In addition, on this day, Moscow announced persona non grata the first secretary of the Albanian embassy in Moscow, Yonida Drogu, in response to the decision of the authorities of the Balkan republic to expel the first secretary of the Russian embassy in Tirana from the country.

“Curry favor with the USA and NATO”

Earlier, the Estonian parliament issued a statement “in support of civil liberties” in Russia, calling for new anti-Russian sanctions. According to Tallinn, Moscow allegedly does not fulfill its obligations to ensure the rights and freedoms of its citizens, and is also pursuing an “aggressive policy” towards neighboring countries.

“Unfortunately, already in the first days of the new Estonian government’s work, statements were made about the absence of“ grounds ”for building relations with Russia, accompanied by worn-out quasi-arguments about the threat posed by Russia,” the diplomatic mission said.

In addition, the Estonian Defense Ministry accused Russia of using cyberspace to split relations between Western countries, including NATO members. In Tallinn, fears are expressed that the special services of the Russian Federation may allegedly start “exploiting the technology of fake information.”

As Vladimir Olenchenko, senior researcher at the Center for European Studies of the IMEMO RAS, said in an interview with RT, Estonia is relaying NATO’s point of view, given that the North Atlantic Alliance’s Cyber ​​Center is located near Tallinn: “I think that NATO, most likely, instructed Estonia to voice its that the Russian special services allegedly use cyberspace. “

In turn, Konstantin Blokhin, a researcher at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pointed out that Estonia, like other Baltic countries, as well as Ukraine, Poland and Romania, is trying to follow the path of American foreign policy. According to him, they all curry favor with the United States and NATO in order to receive financial dividends.

“It is clear that they see themselves as a country“ on the front line ”, in the vanguard of containing Russia. They are trying to predict future statements by the Biden administration. It is understandable that we will be accused of cyber interference, because cyber interference is a key element of Democrats. Estonians want to integrate into the common choir, “the interlocutor of RT explained.

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