Estonia, China Secretly Expelled 1 Diplomat Each Last Summer - Ex-Official

Estonia, China Secretly Expelled 1 Diplomat Each Last Summer - Ex-Official

HELSINKI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd April, 2021) Tallinn and Beijing secretly expelled one diplomat each late last summer, Hannes Rumm, an ex-senior employee of the Estonian Foreign Ministry, has said.

"At the end of last summer, our government made an unusual decision: a Chinese diplomat was deported from Estonia in connection with improper behavior, but this decision was not made public. In response, China sent home an employee of the Estonian Embassy in Beijing, but the Chinese government similarly decided not to disclose information about the expulsion," Rumm wrote in his column for the Maaleht newspaper.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets declined to comment on the issue.

Lawmaker Urmas Reinsalu, who served as the country's top diplomat from April 2019 to January 2021, told the ERR broadcaster that there are issues about which countries "prefer to keep quiet."

"Sometimes it is inappropriate to talk about what happened in relations between two countries. And it happens that there is a certain agreement between the countries on some issues," Reinsalu added.

The ex-diplomat declined to answer whether the expulsion of the Chinese diplomat was related to the case of famous Estonian marine scientist Tarmo Kouts, who was sentenced in March to three years in prison for spying for China. The court also confiscated 17,000 euro ($20,000) from the 58-year-old as proceeds from the crime.