Russia expels Estonian diplomat in retaliatory step

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Russia is expelling a diplomat from Estonia in retaliation for the Baltic country’s expulsion of a Russian envoy.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said Thursday that the Estonian ambassador was informed of the move at a meeting where Russia protested the expulsion of its diplomat.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Russian who was expelled had worked on cultural and educational issues in Estonia. She did not specify the responsibilities of the Estonian who was declared persona non grata in Russia.

Estonia, a former Soviet republic, is uneasy about the influence of its giant neighbor, while Russia bristles at Estonia’s NATO membership and its criticism of Russia on human rights and democracy.