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23 May, 2024
 
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FT: Estonia PM on Russia's wanted list

Kremlin lists Kaja Kallas on a wanted database, linking her to efforts to remove Soviet-era monuments

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Russia has placed Estonia's Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, on its wanted list, marking the first instance of the Kremlin seeking criminal charges against a foreign leader since the Ukraine invasion.  Kallas, alongside other Baltic politicians critical of Russia's actions, is listed in the Russian interior ministry's suspects database.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the charges are linked to Estonia's efforts to remove Soviet-era war monuments. Kallas views the move as an attempt to silence her and reaffirm the EU's strong support for Ukraine. The Russian foreign ministry has implied that these charges are related to the removal of Soviet monuments in the region.

The Estonian government had decided in 2022 to relocate all Soviet monuments from public spaces to cemeteries. Kallas, a candidate for the next head of NATO, has faced criticism over her husband's business dealings in Russia. Russia has pursued 700 cases against foreigners with apparent political motives, including four Polish citizens and the president of the International Criminal Court.

The charges against Kallas come amid heightened tensions, with Estonia warning of increased Russian military presence along its border with Finland and the Baltic states.

[Source: Financial Times]

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