UPDATES WITH MORE RUSSIAN AMBASSADORS ACROSS EUROPE BEING SUMMONED, TURKISH RESPONSE; REVISES DECK
By Faruk Zorlu
ANKARA (AA) – Lithuania, a Baltic state bordering Russia, on Monday ordered the top Russian envoy in the country to leave within five days.
A Foreign Ministry statement said it summoned a Russian Embassy official to hand over a note “declaring the chargé d’affaires ad interim of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabokon as persona non grata.”
Ryabokon’s recent actions and statements are “incompatible with his diplomatic status, regarded as an interference in the host state's internal affairs, and, therefore, violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the statement said.
The ministry also “strongly protested” Moscow’s decision last week “to illegally annex the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, parts of which were temporarily occupied by Russia,” it added.
- Italy, Finland, Austria, Poland, Portugal summon envoys
Separately, Russian Ambassador in Rome Sergey Razov was summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry as part of a coordinated effort with its EU partners, said a ministry statement.
Referring to the illegal annexation, the ministry urged "Russian authorities to revoke these illegal actions, the result of which Italy does not intend to recognize, and to immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw Russian forces from the Ukrainian territory."
Additionally, the Russian Ambassador in Lisbon was summoned to the Portuguese Foreign Ministry.
Moreover, the Finnish, Austrian, and Polish foreign ministries also summoned the locally serving Russian ambassadors, according to local media.
The Czech Foreign Ministry on Monday also called on its citizens in Russia to leave immediately and for all others to avoid going to Russia due to Mocow's declaration of a partial mobilization in the country last month.
On Sept. 23-27, the Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson held referendums on joining Russia.
The referendums have been condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US calling them a "sham" and saying that they will not be recognized.
Calling Moscow’s moves "a grave violation of the established principles of international law,” Türkiye also firmly rejected the annexation.