Moscow says it has shut down consulates of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in different parts of the country and requested that their staff members leave in retaliation for recent diplomatic moves against Moscow by the three Baltic nations.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on April 21 that it has told Riga that the Latvian consulates in St. Petersburg and Pskov must be closed, while Tallinn was informed that the Estonian Consulate in St. Petersburg and its office in Pskov will be shut. Vilnius has been notified that the Lithuanian consulate in St. Petersburg is also to be shuttered, the statement said.
The announcement comes days after Latvia and Estonia each ordered the closure of two Russian consulates over Russia’s ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, while Lithuania expelled Russia’s ambassador over Moscow’s aggression against Kyiv.
In March, Moscow expelled 10 diplomats from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia after the three Baltic nations joined other EU members in a move to expel Russian diplomats over the invasion of Ukraine.
Lawmakers in Estonia and Latvia also adopted resolutions on April 21, accusing Russia of genocide against the Ukrainian people.
Earlier on April 21, Estonia joined Latvia and Lithuania in banning the display of the symbols “Z” and “V,” which are used by supporters of Russia’s war in Ukraine.