Lithuania urged EU countries to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia

Lithuania calls on the countries of the European Union (EU) to downgrade the status of the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation, following the example of the Baltic countries. This was announced on January 25 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country, Gabrielius Landsbergis.

“We express support for Latvia and Estonia, which have downgraded the status of the Russian diplomatic mission in their countries, and we call on other EU states to follow the example of all the Baltic countries now,” Landsbergis told reporters.

At the same time, he noted that Vilnius was the first to take such steps, announcing the expulsion of the Russian ambassador to Lithuania in May 2022.

On January 23, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics made a statement about the decision taken by the republic to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia. He wrote about this on Twitter, adding that Latvia “requires Russia to act accordingly.” This is done in solidarity with Estonia.

Moscow called Riga’s moves unfriendly and stressed that the Russian side would “react harshly to any such hostile actions.”

On the same day, Moscow lowered the level of diplomatic relations with Tallinn. The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation explained that this decision was made against the background of the unfriendly policy of the Baltic Republic. On the same day, Estonian Ambassador Margus Laidre was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was strongly protested and recommended to leave Russia by February 7.

As State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on January 25, the decision to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Estonia and Latvia should have been taken long ago. According to him, cooperation with these countries is impossible due to the loss of their independence.

The authorities of the Baltic countries have long been known for their Russophobic and anti-Russian policies. It especially intensified after the start of the Russian special operation to protect Donbass. On January 10, the Latvian Foreign Ministry stated that it was in the interests of Riga to achieve the defeat of Russia.

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