Lithuania argues against hosting Russian envoys in EU

AFP , Tuesday 31 Jan 2023

Lithuania's foreign minister on Tuesday urged European Union countries not to host Russian ambassadors, as diplomatic tensions between the Baltics and Moscow rise following the invasion of Ukraine.

 Gabrielius Landsbergis
Lithuania s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. AP


"There is little use in having an ambassador, a Russian ambassador, in any European capital," Gabrielius Landsbergis told a press conference in Riga.

"In most cases it's no longer a diplomatic institution, it's an institution of propaganda, covering up crimes of war and in general promoting a genocidal agenda," he said.

Lithuania downgraded diplomatic relations with Russia, which included expelling Moscow's ambassador, in April last year after the massacre in the Ukrainian town of Bucha was discovered.

Last week, Estonia said it would expel the Russian ambassador in a tit-for-tat move after the Kremlin ordered Estonia's ambassador to leave.

"We stand by the principle of parity in relations with Russia," the Estonian ministry of foreign affairs said in a tweet, adding that the Russian ambassador would have to depart at the same time as his Estonian counterpart, ordered by Moscow to leave on February 7.

Fellow Baltic state Latvia said it was also expelling the Russian ambassador in solidarity with Estonia, adding that it would withdraw its own ambassador from Moscow.

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