Home Travel & Adventure Estonia Expels Russian Embassy Worker Amid Concerns of Hybrid Operations

Estonia Expels Russian Embassy Worker Amid Concerns of Hybrid Operations


The Estonian government recently announced as persona non grata an employee of the Russian embassy with diplomatic status as persona non grata.

The move underscores Estonia’s firm stance against what it perceives as Russia’s interference in its internal affairs and attempts to undermine its sovereignty and security, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

According to a recent statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonia is sending a strong message to Russia that it will not tolerate any actions perceived as threatening its independence and sovereignty.

The reference to “hybrid operations coordinated by Russian special services” suggests concerns about covert activities aimed at destabilizing Estonia, possibly including disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks, or other forms of interference.

The Russian embassy has illegally interfered in Estonia’s internal affairs with its activities, specifically in the justice process, when it acquired the criminal case documents and contributed to their publication on Russian social media.

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna

The Minister stressed that Russia’s coordinated actions against Estonia, including hybrid anti-security operations, are not okay and must end.

As he explains, the term “hybrid operations” often encompasses a variety of tactics, including disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks, and espionage, intended to undermine a nation’s security and stability without overtly crossing the threshold of traditional warfare.

Tallinn Considered Border Closure Due to Migrant Influx Attempts

The diplomatic relations between Estonia and Russia were downgraded last year, leading to the departure of their respective ambassadors. In November 2023, Estonia considered closing its border entirely with Russia.

Foreign Minister Tsahkna urged citizens not to travel across the eastern border due to concerns over the migrant influx.

This decision came after a group of around 30 migrants, mainly from Somalia and Syria, failed to reach Estonia via Russia. The Foreign Minister accused Moscow of trying to undermine Estonia by involving migrants and stated that Tallinn was prepared to shut its border to defend against hybrid attacks.

Ivangorod Border Crossing Closed for Vehicles

Since February 2024, the Ivangorod border crossing between Russia and Estonia no longer allows cars to pass. Due to reconstruction, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has ordered its closure for vehicles and passengers. Fortunately, this closure won’t affect pedestrians.

The redevelopment of the Ivangorod border crossing was initially planned for late spring or early summer 2023. As a result, this closure aims to impact transportation between Tallinn and St. Petersburg. Companies are exploring the possibility of travelling from Tallinn to St. Petersburg by bus, crossing the border on foot in Narva.

Moreover, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an updated travel advisory in December last year, strongly advising against travelling to Russia due to potential migration pressures.

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