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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Envoys Expelled By Estonia

Estonia expelled two Russian diplomats Thursday, prompting Russia to order two envoys from the former Soviet Baltic state to leave in a tit for tat move.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said its diplomats had been accused of "activity incompatible with their status" — usual diplomatic code for spying.

An Estonian Foreign Ministry spokesman in Tallinn confirmed his country had asked two Russian diplomats to leave, but declined to say why. He said he was aware that two Estonians had been ordered out of Moscow.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "We completely reject the accusations brought against the Russian diplomats … . This is a deliberate provocation that will cause serious damage to Russo-Estonian relations."

A spokeswoman for the Estonian Embassy in Moscow declined all comment. Interfax said Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service and GRU military intelligence both declined to comment on the expulsions.

Estonia has had difficult relations with Moscow since it regained independence in 1991.

However, relations have remained more cordial than those between Russia and neighboring Latvia.