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Estonian PM on being put on Russia’s wanted list: Russia will not intimidate me

In Europe
February 19, 2024

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has said that the warrant Russia has issued for her arrest is merely an attempt to intimidate her amid speculation that she could be in line for high office in the European Union.

Source: Kallas in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, European Pravda reports

Details: “It is meant to intimidate and make me refrain from the decisions that I would otherwise make. But it’s Russia’s playbook. It’s nothing surprising and we are not afraid,” the Estonian prime minister said.

Kallas’s high profile in calling on the EU to do more to support Ukraine has led to speculation in Brussels that she could assume a leadership role after the EU elections in June, possibly as foreign policy chief.

Kallas said that this speculation also contributes to Russia’s aggressiveness towards her.

“It’s hard to be popular. The Russians have also seen that, and that’s why they issued the arrest warrant to really emphasise the biggest argument against me, that I am a provocation to Russia,” she said.

When asked whether she was interested in a position at EU level, the Prime Minister said “We are not there yet” and that she was currently the Prime Minister of Estonia.

Background:

  • Estonian Prosecutor General Andres Parmas said that being on Russia’s wanted list will make foreign travel riskier for Kaja Kallas.

  • Kallas is reportedly wanted under an article of the Russian Criminal Code, but it is not clear which one. Estonian Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop has also been put on the wanted list under a criminal article.

  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Kallas and Peterkop were wanted for “destroying monuments to Soviet soldiers”.

  • Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said putting the prime minister on the wanted list was an information operation by the Russian Federation.

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