Latvian police stop guarding closed Russian consulates

Latvia announced a decision to close two Russian consulates in early April. In response, Moscow announced the cessation of the work of the Latvian consulates in St. Petersburg and Pskov image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/800xH/media/img/3/94/756598819161943.webp 800w" type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 400px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1200xH/media/img/3/94/756598819161943.webp 1200w" type="image/webp" media="(min-resolution: 192dpi) " >

The Latvian police decided to stop guarding the buildings of the Russian consulates general closed in Daugavpils and Liepaja, the portal of the Latvian radio and television (lsm.lv) reported. Diplomatic workers of Russian institutions were recognized in Latvia as persona non grata, the publication points out.

“The State Police will no longer guard the Consulates General of the Russian Federation in Daugavpils and Liepaja,” reported the portal.

The Latvian Foreign Ministry previously notified the police that there was no longer a need to protect closed consulates, writes the tvnet.lv portal.

RBC sent requests to the Latvian police and the Russian embassy in Latvia.

Latvia announced a decision to close two Russian consulates general and expel 13 Russian diplomats in early April. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country, Edgar Rinkevich, explained this by the events in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Latvian Ambassador Maris Riekstins and protested to him in connection with the unfriendly actions of Riga, and also announced a decision to close the Latvian consulates in St. Petersburg and Pskov, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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The Lithuanian authorities also decided to close the Russian Consulate General in Klaipeda, and Estonia demanded that the Russian Consulate in Narva and offices in Tartu. Moscow responded in the opposite way, announcing the closure of the consulates of Estonia and Lithuania in St. Petersburg.

The expulsions of diplomats by the West and Russia resumed in the spring of 2022 against the backdrop of events in Ukraine. The United States and European countries were the first to start them, Moscow later responded with mirror expulsions. In total, since the beginning of 2022, Western countries have expelled more than 500 employees of Russian diplomatic missions, Russia— 301 Western diplomats.

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