Baltic diplomats to be expelled from Russia

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A series of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions between countries in the west and the Russian Federation continued April 28 with the ambassadors of the Baltic states summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry and told who will have to leave the country.

Latvian ambassador Māris Riekstiņs seemed to have wind of how events would unfold, tweeting in Russian early in the day that an "interesting day" must lie surely ahead on a pleasant Spring morning.

The day did indeed prove to be interesting as Riekstiņš and his counterparts from Estonia and Lithuania were told that two Lithuanian, one Latvian and one Estonian embassy staff members will have to leave the country: matching exactly the number of Russian diplomats expelled from each country in a show of solidarity with the Czech Republic, where Russian agents are suspected of carrying out acts of deadly sabotage.

In the case of the Russian embassy employee expelled by Latvia there were a few additional circumstances to take into account as well.

"A strong protest was made to the heads of diplomatic missions in connection with the provocative, unfounded actions to expel the employees of the Russian embassies in the Baltic states," thundered the Russian MFA, adding that "Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn continue to pursue an openly hostile course towards our country, hiding behind in this case pseudo-solidarity with the indiscriminate actions of the Czech Republic towards Russia."

Three members of the Slovakian embassy staff were also given notice to leave the country by Russia for the same reasons.

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