Moscow demanded that authorities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania take measures to protect Russia’s embassies after a Russian diplomat was attacked in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, the Russian RIA news agency said.
“We are warning Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn that they are responsible for the consequences of the anti-Russian psychosis they have unleashed,” the Russian foreign ministry was quoted as saying.
“A Russian diplomat in the Lithuanian capital was attacked with the use of physical force, attempts were made to put pressure on the Ambassador,” it added.
Lithuania’s national broadcaster reported last week that a third secretary of the Russian embassy was beaten on the evening of Feb. 24 near the embassy, in a residential courtyard. The broadcaster cited a Lithuanian police spokesperson.
A suspect in the beating, which took place as an estimated 10,000 people gathered in front of the embassy to show support for Ukraine following the start of Russia’s invasion earlier that day, was arrested, the spokesperson was quoted as saying. The diplomat declined medical help, she added.
Meanwhile, Canada told its citizens on Saturday to leave Russia “while commercial means are still available,” saying security conditions were unpredictable and could deteriorate without notice.
“Flight availability is becoming extremely limited … The ability of our embassy to provide consular services in Russia may become severely limited,” Canada’s foreign ministry said in a travel advisory. Canada, like many other Western nations, imposed broad sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
File photo – EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO