The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday (April 28) that it will expel a total of seven diplomats from the embassies of Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Russia as a response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from these countries.
Xinhua News Agency reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry separately summoned the ambassadors of the above-mentioned countries to Russia on the same day, and strongly protested the expulsion of Russian diplomats by these countries.
As a countermeasure, Russia requires three Slovak diplomats, two Lithuanian diplomats, one Estonian diplomat and one Latvian diplomat to leave Russia before May 5.
On April 17, the Czech government asked 18 Russian embassy personnel to leave the country within 48 hours on the grounds that Russian intelligence personnel were suspected of participating in the 2014 Czech arsenal explosion. In response, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on the evening of the 18th that it would expel 20 Czech diplomats in Russia.
According to Russian media reports, Slovakia said last Thursday (22nd) that in “solidarity” with the Czech Republic, the Slovak side decided to expel three Russian diplomats and asked them to leave the country within 7 days.
Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania also issued a joint statement last Friday (23rd), deciding to expel several Russian diplomats in “solidarity” with the Czech Republic.