In a reciprocal move, Russia has ordered the closure of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian consulates on its territory and called on the staff of the missions to leave, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.
The ambassadors of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were called by the Kremlin and were told to close the consulates of the three Baltic states in St. Petersburg, and the Latvian consulate and the Estonian consulate in Pskov.
Earlier this month, Latvia and Estonia ordered the closure of its Russian consulates because of Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, and Lithuania called on its Russian ambassador to leave its territory.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly protested against the ambassadors’ closure of the Russian Consulates General in Klaipeda and Liepaja, Daugavpils and Narva, and the consular section of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn, which it described as unfriendly.
Moscow justified its response on the basis of reciprocity and the fact the Baltic authorities were providing military assistance to the “Kyiv regime” and “covering up crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists against the peaceful population of the Donetsk Basin and Ukraine.”