Thế Giới

Russia closes consulates of three Baltic states

Russia announced that it had closed the consulates of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in response to similar moves by these three countries.

In a statement issued today, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it had requested to stop the operation of the consulates of the three countries in St. Petersburg. They also close the Latvian consulate and the Estonian representative office in Pskov, a city on the border with Estonia.

“Heads and consular officers at the consular posts of Estonia and Latvia have been declared ‘unwelcome’,” the Russian foreign ministry said. “We ask that all the persons mentioned and the non-Russian consular staff leave the Russian territory within the same time period that these countries requested the Russian consular staff to leave their countries.”

Outside the Latvian Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Embassy of Latvia.

Outside the Latvian Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Russia. Image: Embassy of Latvia.

Last month, Russia expelled 10 diplomats from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia after these three countries, along with several other EU member states, expelled Russian diplomats over Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. Earlier this month, Latvia and Estonia ordered the closure of two Russian consulates, while Lithuania expelled the Russian ambassador.

The presidents of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia last week accompanied the President of Poland to Kiev to show support for Ukraine and condemn Russia’s military campaign. Leaders of the Baltic states also called on the international community to increase military aid to Ukraine. Previously, these three countries stopped importing Russian gas.

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 and at the end of March announced the completion of the first phase of the operation, withdrawing its troops from the suburbs of Kiev and northern Ukraine to focus its forces on the Donbass region. Moscow on April 19 began the second phase of its military campaign, carrying out a massive air raid along a front line more than 480 km in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian army took control of the city of Kreminna in the Lugansk Oblast. The Russian Defense Ministry also claims to have control of the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, except for the Azovstal iron and steel plant, the last Ukrainian defense stronghold in Mariupol, and is tightening the siege on the factory. However, Ukraine denied that Russia had control of the city.

Huyen Le (According to AFP, Reuters)

You are reading the article Russia closes consulates of three Baltic states
at – Source: – Read the original article here

Back to top button