As a result of their actions, the Estonian authorities have left Moscow no other choice but to downgrade diplomatic relations, Russian Ambassador to Tallinn Vladimir Lipayev told the Soloviev Live TV channel on Tuesday.
“An atmosphere somewhat resembling a frontline situation was created, which is absolutely abnormal for diplomatic relations. It was created by our Estonian partners. In such a situation, it appears impossible to maintain contact normally so Russia simply had no other choice,” he stressed.
The envoy added that Estonian diplomacy had demonstrated that it was totally incapable of engaging in dialogue.
“Over the past year, our Estonian partners have been angling to damage bilateral relations as much as possible and undermine any prospects for their future development,” the Russian ambassador emphasized.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Monday that Moscow was downgrading diplomatic ties with Estonia in response to a significant reduction in the number of the Russian embassy staff in Tallinn and amid an overall deterioration of ties. The Estonian ambassador was ordered to leave Moscow by February 7.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry said later that Russian Ambassador to Tallinn Vladimir Lipayev would have to leave the Baltic country on the same day that Estonian envoy Margus Laidre would be departing from Moscow.