17:26 GMT +325 March 2019
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    Estonia Expels Russian Diplomats in Bid to Get US Support, Russian MP Says

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    A Russian lawmaker said Friday that by expelling Russian diplomats from Estonia, the officials in Tallinn try to "attract US attention in order to get additional support."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Estonia's decision to expel Russian diplomats is a provocative step aimed at getting Russia to respond in a similar fashion that will ultimately be presented to the United States and NATO as an act of aggression in a bid to get their additional support, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the international committee of the Federation Council, said Friday.

    Earlier Friday, the Estonian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sandra Kamilova told Sputnik that the Estonian authorities had ordered Russia's Consul General in Narva Dmitry Kazennov and Consul Andrey Surgayev to leave the country. The spokeswoman did not provide any reasons for such a decision.

    "The expulsion of Russian diplomats is one more step in unfriendly Estonia's policy toward Russia. The aim of such policy is to repeatedly create irritants and provoke tensions and Russia's reciprocal reaction," Kosachev told reporters.

    According to Kosachev, this potential reaction would be presented as the confirmation of Russia's alleged aggression or threat, and would be used to "attract US [and NATO] attention in order to get additional support."

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier on Friday that Tallinn's move would further deteriorate bilateral relations, as it will not be left without an adequate response from Moscow.


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