The Baltic countries, which consider the threat of a Russian invasion to be real, actively support kyiv in its fight against the Russian army.
Russia has launched a wanted notice against Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, according to a notice visible Tuesday on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, a new illustration of tensions with the Baltic countries since the attack on the Kremlin in Ukraine. Kaja Kallas is being prosecuted in Russia in “a criminal case”, indicates this notice, which does not specify what crime or offense the manager is accused of. The Estonian Secretary of State, Taimar Peterkop, was also targeted by a wanted poster, as well as the Minister of Culture of Lithuania, Simonas Kairys. A Russian security source, cited anonymously by the state news agency TASS, said the two Estonian officials and the Lithuanian minister were being prosecuted for “destruction and degradation of monuments (tribute) to Soviet soldiers” of the Second World War.
The Kremlin accused them on Tuesday of hostility towards Russia, due to their vision of the history of their relations. “These people are responsible for decisions which are de facto an insult to History, they are people who carry out hostile actions against historical memory, against our country”said the spokesperson for the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov.
“The action of the Russian Federation is not surprising, as it is its usual tactic of intimidation”reacted Kaja Kallas in a press release, promising to continue to support Ukraine and to fight against “Russian propaganda”. “I will not be silent, I will continue to strongly support Ukraine and I will speak out in favor of strengthening European defense”did she say.
Accused of “sabotage” the Russian presidential election
In recent years, several of these monuments inherited from the USSR after the Second World War have been dismantled in the Baltic countries, as a sign of rejection of the Soviet period, these states considering having been occupied by the USSR. A Russian minority resides in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, three former Soviet republics now members of the EU and NATO which have tense relations with Moscow.
The Baltic states, which fear the Kremlin’s military ambitions, consider that the USSR has occupied them, while Moscow sees itself as a liberator and judges any other approach as a “falsification of history”, a crime in Russia. These relations have further deteriorated with the conflict in Ukraine. The Baltic countries, which consider the threat of a Russian invasion to be real, actively support kyiv in its fight against the Russian army. Last week, Russia summoned the charges d’affaires of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, accusing them of “sabotage” the Russian presidential election in March by refusing to ensure the security of polling stations in Russian embassies on their soil.
In mid-January, Latvia and Estonia decided to end their legal assistance agreements with Russia, with officials from these two countries citing Moscow’s attack on Ukraine as the reason. Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky toured the Baltics in January. In January, Estonia also refused to extend the residence permit of the head of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, a Russian citizen, believing that he represented a risk to national security.