Russia declares Estonian consul detained by FSB persona non grata
The Russian Foreign Ministry has declared Estonia’s consul to St. Petersburg persona non grata. The diplomat now has 48 hours to leave the country, the state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday, July 7.
The consul, Mart Latte, was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on July 6. The FSB said that the diplomat was “caught red-handed while receiving classified documents from a Russian citizen.” The Estonian Foreign Ministry condemned Latte’s detention as “illegal and provocative.” The consul was released an hour and a half after the arrest.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that “there is irrefutable evidence” of Latte’s “illegal activities,” adding that they had lodged a “strong protest” with the Estonian Embassy in Moscow’s counselor. The ministry added that Moscow considers Tallinn’s official position on Latte’s detention “cynical.”
The Estonian Embassy’s counselor Ulla Uibo was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, but declined to comment to the press.