Estonia condemns the “forced” detention of its diplomat in Russia | Politics News
Russia claims to have caught an Estonian diplomat in the act of receiving classified documents.
Estonia condemned Russia for detaining one of its diplomats after a ‘stunt’ aimed at passing him off as a spy, saying the incident showed that Russia chooses confrontation in its relations with Europe .
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday it had arrested St. Petersburg-based diplomat Mart Latte after he was “caught red-handed” receiving confidential information from a Russian citizen.
“This activity is not compatible with the status of diplomatic official, and its nature is clearly hostile to the Russian Federation,” the FSB said in a statement.
“Measures in accordance with the norms of international law will be applied to the foreign diplomat. “
Russia’s relations with European countries have been affected in recent months by a number of espionage accusations against Russian diplomats in Europe.
Italy, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania are among the countries in the European Union with which Moscow has traded head-to-head deportations.
The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were ruled by Moscow in Soviet times, are members of the EU and NATO and are among Moscow’s fiercest international critics.
Estonian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aari Lemmik said Latte was detained by the FSB for an hour and a half after leaving a working meeting at St. Petersburg State University.
“This accusation that he was in possession of classified documents is completely unfounded. It is a provocation. The whole incident was a stunt, ”she said.
“We believe this is another example that Russia has chosen confrontation instead of reversing the negative trend in relations with EU member states.”
In April, the Russian embassy in Estonia called the expulsion of one of its diplomats by Tallinn as an unfriendly and baseless gesture against Moscow.