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Comment by Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets on the closing of Estonia’s consular representations in St Petersburg and Pskov and declaring their staff persona non grata in Russia

21. April 2022 - 15:05

Today 21 April, Russia summoned Estonian Ambassador to Russia Margus Laidre to notify him of the closing of Estonia’s consular representations in St Petersburg and Pskov and declaring all their staff persona non grata in Russia.

Russia’s decision to declare the staff of the embassy as undesirable and close our consular representations in St Petersburg and Pskov is a regrettable step; however, it was not completely unexpected for Estonia. Russia’s move is linked to Estonia’s 5 April decision to declare 14 members of the staff of the Russian embassy
persona non grata and close the consular representations in Narva and Tartu. Estonia made its decision after coordinating it with our allies. According to public data, NATO and European Union member states have expelled 480 Russian embassy staff since 24 February, and additionally, Japan has expelled 8 employees of the Russian embassy. Estonia’s decision to reduce its diplomatic contacts with Russia is the result of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the horrendous crimes that have been uncovered in the areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia. It has also been established that Russian diplomats were directly and actively undermining Estonia’s security in Estonia and spreading propaganda justifying Russia’s war.

Our position is unequivocal – by continuing its extensive war against Ukraine, Russia is violating in the gravest possible way both international law as well as the international commitments it has voluntarily taken upon itself. Estonia calls on Russia to comply with the UN General Assembly resolution from 2 March 2022 and the 16 March 2022 decision by the International Court of Justice, and end its war against the state and people of Ukraine and withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

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