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Russia summons Latvian diplomat over Riga’s decision to downgrade diplomatic ties

Russia summons Latvian diplomat over Riga’s decision to downgrade diplomatic ties
Moscow orders Latvia’s Ambassador to Russia Maris Riekstins to leave country within 2 weeks

By Burak Dag

ANKARA (AA) – Russia on Friday summoned Latvia's charge d'affaires in the country over Riga's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a written statement: "Charge d'Affaires of Latvia (Dace Rutka) has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with the decision of the authorities of this country to lower the level of Russian-Latvian diplomatic relations."

Russia ordered Latvia's Ambassador to Moscow Maris Riekstins to leave the country within two weeks.

Moscow warned that "the provocative demarche of the Latvian authorities to lower the level of diplomatic relations will have consequences."

Bilateral ties between Russia and Latvia "have already been largely destroyed by the destructive line of the ruling elite of Latvia ...," the ministry statement said.

"All responsibility for the current situation lies with the state leadership of Latvia," it added.

On Tuesday, Latvian authorities demanded the departure of the Russian ambassador from Riga by Feb. 24, while Latvia will recall its ambassador from Moscow by the same date.

Latvia on Monday said it will downgrade diplomatic ties with Russia in solidarity with neighboring Estonia and due to Moscow’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Earlier on Monday, Russia announced that it has downgraded its relations with Estonia to the level of charge d’affaires in response to Tallinn’s recent decision to reduce the size of the Russian Embassy in the country’s capital.

Latvia, a small Baltic state which was part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, gained its independence in 1991.

source: News Feed
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