Estonia says Russia’s detention of its consul in St. Petersburg was a “setup” and “provocation.”
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on July 6 that it had detained the consul after allegedly catching him receiving classified documents.
The FSB claimed the activities of Consul Mart Latte were “incompatible with the status of a diplomatic worker and are openly hostile to Russia.”
The agency did not give any information about what the consul supposedly received or from whom.
Estonia’s Foreign Ministry said the detention was another example of Russia choosing confrontation with the European Union.
Russia’s relations with the West, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, have been tense in recent years over a host of actions by Moscow, including aggression against its neighbors, allegations of election interference and state-sponsored hacking, and human rights abuses at home.
The Kremlin has expelled Estonian diplomats two times this year, both in retaliation for Estonia’s expulsion of Russian diplomats.