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Estonia Expels Another Russian Diplomat In Latest Tit-For-Tat Move

A Russian flag flutters in front of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn.
A Russian flag flutters in front of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn.

Estonia says it won't issue a visa to a Russian diplomat in response to Moscow's expulsion of one of the Baltic country's diplomats from Russia last month.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on August 30 that it "hopes that despite its asymmetrical action, the Russian Federation refrains from a further escalation of the situation."

Russia's relations with the West, including the former Soviet Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, have been tense in recent years over a host of actions by Moscow, including aggression against its neighbors, allegations of election interference and state-sponsored hacking, and human rights abuses at home.

Tallinn expelled a Russian diplomat in July after Russia briefly detained the Estonian consul in St. Petersburg, Mart Latte, who was subsequently declared persona non grata for allegedly receiving classified documents.

Estonia called the incident a "set-up" and "unlawful and provocative."

Russia responded to the July expulsion of its diplomat by expelling an employee of the Estonian Embassy in early August.

The Kremlin had already expelled Estonian diplomats twice this year, both in retaliation for Estonia's expulsion of Russian diplomats.

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