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Moscow Gives Latvian Ambassador Two Weeks to Leave Russia

Moscow said on Friday that the Latvian ambassador was given two weeks to leave Russia, accusing the Baltic state and the EU member of “total Russophobia.”

The latest expulsion came after Russia on Monday lowered diplomatic relations with Estonia and ordered its ambassador to leave the country, making the same accusation against Tallinn.

Estonia retaliated by asking the Russian ambassador to leave Tallinn, and in solidarity, Latvia on Monday also ordered the Russian ambassador to leave Tallinn, saying it was belittling diplomatic relations.

“Latvian Ambassador Maris Riekstins has been ordered to leave the Russian Federation within two weeks,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

The ministry added that Latvia’s decision to lower the level of relations “will have consequences.”

Moscow accused both Baltic countries of “total Russophobia” and “hostile steps against Russia.”

Tensions between Russia and its European neighbors soared after President Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24 last year.

The Baltic state of Lithuania lowered its diplomatic relations with Russia back in April in response to atrocities committed by occupying Russian troops in the Kiev suburb of Bucha.

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