MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russia’s charge d’affaires in Lithuania has been declared as persona non-grata, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
On October 3, a representative of the Russian embassy in Lithuania was summoned to Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and handed a note declaring Russia’s charge d'affaires Sergey Ryabokon as persona non grata, reads a statement uploaded to the ministry's website.
The diplomat was told to leave the country within five days.
Vilnius argues that Ryabokon's actions and statements were allegedly "incompatible with his diplomatic status." The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry described them as interference in the country internal affairs.
At the end of August, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry handed a note of protest to Russia’s the charge d'affaires in connection with his statements about the retaliatory questioning of Lithuanian citizens entering Russia. Earlier, Vilnius suggested asking Russian citizens intending to enter Lithuania about the affiliation of Crimea, whose status of a Russian territory Lithuania does not recognize. In response to this, Ryabokon remarked that Lithuanian citizens crossing the border into Russia might begin to be asked what they thought about the suspicion that on January 13, 1991 "fellow citizens were shooting at fellow citizens."
Moscow will respond appropriately to Vilnius’s decision to declare Ryabokon as persona non-grata, the Russian Foreign Ministry told TASS on Monday.
"Russia will give an appropriate response," the Foreign Ministry said.