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    RUSSIA DEMANDS DEPORTATION OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT

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    MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow inquires into details of the incident with a Russian diplomat in Latvia, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry disclosed.

    "Currently the Russian Foreign Ministry is thoroughly studying the issue. Comments can be given only after the full inquiry into the all details of the issue," the agency's interlocutor said.

    As it was reported earlier by the press-service of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, today Russian Ambassador in Riga Igor Studennikov was summoned to the Latvian Foreign Ministry.

    The Ambassador was handed a note, which states that the conduct of one of the Russian diplomats in Riga did not conform with the Vienna Convention regulations from 1961 on the diplomatic status of embassy staff. State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Latvia Maris Riekstins demanded that the Russian diplomat, whose name was not revealed, must leave the country within 72 hours, the source in the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

    This year Lithuania and Estonia took similar steps.

    In the end of February Russian diplomats were departed from Lithuania. According to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, "the Russian diplomats tried to influence processes of the state property privatization and tried to obtain illegally information on impeachment of Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas." Official Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko in his turn stated that two Russian Embassy workers and one worker of the Russian Trade Representation in Lithuania were ordered to leave the country for activities, which allegedly, didn't correspond with their status and no particular claims were expressed." "In the given situation Russia reserves the right for the adequate reciprocal steps," Mr. Yakovenko said back then.

    On March 30 the Russian Foreign Ministry announced three Lithuanian diplomats "personae non grata". The acting Lithuanian Charge d'Affaires in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was told that due to the activities, which didn't correspond to the diplomatic status and were damaging the interests of the Russian Federation, three Lithuanian Embassy diplomats were declared "personae non grata" and must leave Russia within two days. Deputy minister Kiastutis Kudzman, Commercial Attache Kastitis Kajukauskas and Aide on analytical and political issues Dalia Sukatskene were departed from Russia.

    On March 17 Estonian Foreign Ministry ordered two Russian diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours. The diplomats had no high ranks and their terms of stay almost expired.

    On March 22 acting Estonian Charge d'Affaires in Moscow Yury Arusoo was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was told that due to the activities, which didn't correspond to the diplomats status and were damaging the interests of the Russian Federation, two Estonian Embassy diplomats were declared "personae non grata and must leave Russia within two days.

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