Expulsion for All

On the 21st of January, the Latvian Foreign Ministry decided to expel a Russian diplomat employed in the Russian embassy in Riga for activities incompatible with the status of diplomat. The ministry had received information from Latvian security services that suggested the diplomat posed a threat to the security of the country - in other words, they suspect him of spying. The Latvian Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) has obtained pretty strong evidence that the diplomat has violated the Vienna Convention through his activities, and he has been declared a "persona non grata". The diplomat has been asked to leave Latvia as soon as possible.

A few days later, Russia, reacting unsurprisingly bitter about the expulsion, decided to expel their own Latvian diplomat from Russia. The Latvian Embassy officer was ordered to leave Russia also for activities "incompatible with his diplomatic status and damaging the country's national security". But this tit-for-tat has been going on for a while now, as in 2004 Latvia also expelled a Russian diplomat, only to have their own first secretary of the Latvian Embassy expelled from Moscow. One would hope the two countries would learn to get along by now...


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