TALLINN - In response to Estonia's recent decision to expel two Russian diplomats working in Narva, Russia decided to declare the Estonian consul-general in St. Petersburg and head of the Estonian consulate general chancellery for the Pskov region personae nongratae.
"In view of the unfriendly action of the Estonian authorities, which have declared two Russian diplomats unwelcome, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Estonian Ambassador in Moscow Arti Hilpus on May 31," the Russian Foreign Ministry said according to Interfax. "The chief of the Estonian diplomatic mission was handed a note saying that, in response to the aforesaid provocative step by Tallinn, a decision was made to declare Estonian Consul General in St. Petersburg Jaanus Kirikmae and head of the chancellery for the Pskov region at the Estonian Consulate General in St. Petersburg Katrin Kanarik personae non gratae," the ministry added.
According to the Russian Ministry, the event only proves that the Estonian government is implementing the destructive policy that contradicts the long-term interests of relations between the neighboring states. Responsibility for consequences lies with the Estonian authorities, the ministry added.
The two Estonian diplomats were given five days to leave the Russian Federation.
It was announced on last Friday afternoon that Estonia has decided to send two Russian diplomats, Russian Consul General in Narva Dmitry Kazennov and consul Andrey Surgaev, out of the country.
A spokesperson for the Estonian Foreign Ministry Sandra Kamilova told at the time that the decision had been made but refused to give out further details. The Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) confirmed that they are aware of this.
In line with diplomatic practice, the country whose representatives are told to leave another country will answer on the same scale, by expelling diplomats of the other party.
The Russian Embassy in Tallinn on Wednesday said that Surgaev left Estonia on Tuesday and Kazennov is scheduled to leave the country on Wednesday. Estonia ordered the Russian diplomats to leave the country by the end of May.