MOSCOW – Russia on Wednesday called for the expulsion of Estonian and Moldovan diplomats in response to moves against Russian diplomats in those countries.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said five diplomats from the Moldovan embassy in Moscow had been declared personae non grata and would have to leave within three days. It did not name those to be expelled, but said the decision followed Moldova's decision on Monday to expel five Russian diplomats.
The foreign ministry also said Estonia's consul-general in St. Petersburg, Janus Kirikmae, and Kantin Kanarik, a consular official in Pskov, had been declared personae non grata.
Estonia last week said Russian Consul-General Dmitry Kazennov and consul Andrey Surgaev, both based in Narva, would be expelled. It did not say why.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the action against the Estonian diplomats was "in connection with the unfriendly actions of the Estonian authorities."
Also Wednesday, Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic criticized Russia after a senior ruling party official was prevented from changing planes at a Moscow airport over the weekend. The ban was "destructive and primitive," he said.
Russia's foreign ministry has said Miodrag Vukovic was kept overnight in a transit zone at Domodedovo International Airport while on his way to an international meeting in Belarus because Montenegro had joined the European Union's sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.