MOSCOW, January 24 – RIA Novosti.
Estonia deliberately reduces the number of consular employees of the Russian embassy in order to create problems for the Russian-speaking population, as a result, fellow citizens will have to travel to other points, said Russian Ambassador to Estonia Vladimir Lipaev.
“When the number of consular employees was reduced several times during the year, of course, this could not but affect the quality of service for Russian citizens. Of course, this will be difficult. It seems that this is being done intentionally in order to create maximum problems for the Russian-speaking population,” Lipaev said on the air of Soloviev Live.
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He compared consular work to an assembly line.
“And if there were 15 people on this assembly line, and the next day there are three people, then they are not able to do, just physically, the work that they should do. Certainly, the provision of some consular services will slow down. our other foreign grants. We cannot yet say how our work on consular services for our citizens will be built, but, of course, this will not go unnoticed,” the ambassador said.
According to him, about 300 thousand Russian-speaking citizens now live in Estonia, who are divided “approximately into three equal parts: Russian citizens, stateless persons, but these are our compatriots, and persons with Estonian citizenship, but also our compatriots.”
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“And all of them, to one degree or another, apply for consular services,” the ambassador said.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement about lowering the level of diplomatic relations with Estonia. It notes that Estonia has taken a new unfriendly step to radically reduce the size of the Russian embassy in Tallinn, confirming the line towards the collapse of relations between the countries. As a response, the Russian side decided to downgrade the diplomatic representative in both countries to charge d’affaires, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that on Monday the Estonian ambassador was summoned to the ministry. He is due to leave Russia on February 7th.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu reported that Russian Ambassador Vladimir Lipaev would have to leave Estonia on February 7, simultaneously with the departure of Estonian Ambassador Margus Laidre from Russia.
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