1 Dec 2022 17:35

Lithuania expels Russian embassy employee

VILNIUS. Dec 1 (Interfax/BNS) - Lithuania declared an employee of the Russian embassy in Vilnius persona non grata on Thursday, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said.

A representative of the Russian embassy to Lithuania was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to be presented with a note declaring a Russian embassy employee persona non grata "for activities inconsistent with diplomatic status," it said.

Said embassy employee has been ordered to leave Lithuania within five days, it said.

This has been the fourth time that Lithuania has expelled Russian diplomats since February 24, when Russia started its military operation in Ukraine.

In March, Lithuania expelled four Russian diplomats "in solidarity with Ukraine." In April, the Lithuanian government decided to reduce diplomatic presence between Lithuania and Russia and told Russian Ambassador Alexei Isakov to leave the country. It also decided to close the Russian consulate in Klaipeda. In October, Lithuania expelled Russian Charge d'Affaires a.i. Sergei Ryabokon "for actions and statements inconsistent with diplomatic status."

Russia expelled four employees of the Lithuanian embassy at the end of March. On October 5, Russia declared Lithuanian Charge d'Affaires a.i. Virginija Umbrasiene persona non grata and suspended the work of the Lithuanian diplomatic mission's cultural center in Moscow.