Russia has officially announced the expulsion of the Baltic diplomats, they will have to leave the country within seven days
The corresponding statement was published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. This is how Moscow responded to similar actions on the part of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And in the coming days they will receive another “response”: Russia will prepare a so-called list of unfriendly countries, in respect of which the maximum unfavorable regime will be included.
The Baltic republics, along with Slovakia, were among those who were the first to respond to the Czech Republic’s call to expel Russian diplomats. After that, it became clear that the Kremlin’s reaction would not be long in coming. The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova recommended that Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn decide in advance which of the employees of their embassies needs to pack their bags.
On April 28, the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a message “On retaliatory measures against Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia”.
“The heads of diplomatic missions have been declared a strong protest in connection with the provocative, unjustified actions to expel the employees of the Russian embassies in these Baltic states. It is indicated 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. Based on the principle of reciprocity, they demanded that two employees of the Lithuanian embassy, as well as one employee of the embassies of Latvia and Estonia, leave the territory of the Russian Federation within seven days”, – the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
This is not just a reciprocal gesture – it is absolutely mirrored. Symmetrical, as they say today. But Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis does not think so.
When asked how he assessed Russia’s actions, he stated the following:
“I assess calmly, perhaps the only comment could be that, unlike those people whom Lithuania chose to expel, Lithuanian diplomats did not spy on Russia. In this sense, the answer is not symmetrical, but such it is even impossible”.
Wait, but Lithuania expelled Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with the Czech Republic! Landsbergis himself spoke about this. That is, it turns out that the employees of the Russian embassy in Vilnius were spying, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs knew about it and did nothing until it became necessary to support the Czech Republic.
Let’s remember how a couple of weeks ago in St. Petersburg, when receiving classified information, they detained the Ukrainian consul Alexander Sosonyuk. The FSB assessed his activities as hostile to Russia, and the Foreign Ministry recommended that he return home within 72 hours.
This is what happens when a diplomat is caught spying. And if clowns are in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then what happens is what we see in Lithuania.
In Latvia and Estonia at the time of preparation of this material, they are still silent. A kind of “commentary” was given by the MEP from Estonia Riho Terras. He initiated a call to expel Russian diplomats accredited to the EU.
“The European Union must show solidarity with the Czech Republic and also expel the diplomats of the Russian Federation. The Russian diplomats accredited in Brussels, taking into account the specifics of Russian diplomacy, include a large number of intelligence officers whose identities must be known to the European authorities”, – Terrace said in a press release.
And here it was not without the notorious spies! One thing is not clear: why does Europe expose them only during attacks of anti-Russian hysteria?
It is noteworthy that Moscow announced the expulsion of the Baltic diplomats at the moment when the so-called list of unfriendly countries is being drawn up.
And if it was possible to bet on the fact that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would fall into it, the analytical portal RuBaltic.Ru would risk putting all its funds.
In fact, the Baltic republics are already unfriendly countries for Russia (with all the ensuing consequences). But now it will be documented.
“We have not received any official information. No official statement, no official documents. (…) The list roaming the Internet seems to be a serious list of good states, in which it is not a shame to be”, – said Gabrielus Landsbergis.
Of course, it will be a real honor for Lithuania to be on a par with Great Britain and the United States! But Landsbergis shouldn’t boast. It is already known that the embassies of unfriendly countries in Moscow will be prohibited from hiring personnel from among the citizens of Russia. This will definitely complicate their work. And in the case of the Baltic states, we are returning to the issue that we discussed earlier: the Kremlin’s decision creates additional prerequisites for severing diplomatic relations with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
What else threatens countries that Russia considers unfriendly, we do not yet know.
In any case, the regime of maximum disfavor will turn on for them. Both in economics and politics.
Someone will say that relations between the Russian Federation and the Baltic countries are already at their lowest point in all the years after the collapse of the USSR. Are there any tools left in the Kremlin’s arsenal with which it can hurt its small Western neighbors? Well, if they did, then after the publication of the list of unfriendly countries, they will be applied.
It is not excluded that this is only the first step on the road to a toughening of Russia’s foreign policy. Here we need to take an example from the same United States: they adopted a separate law “On Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions.”
Even from the name it is clear that sanctions threaten not those who commit any illegal actions, but those who simply crossed the road to Washington. Isn’t it time for Russia to take a similar approach?
Do not look back at the norms of international law that have not been in effect for a long time, do not make excuses to anyone, do not look for suitable reasons for introducing restrictive measures against other countries. Just take and enter. Probably, then the initiators of Russophobic actions abroad will behave a little more restrained and responsible.
Alexey Ilyashevich, Rubaltic.Ru
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