Former Estonian Official Denies Claims of Building Russian Patriotism ({{commentsTotal}})

Rein Müllerson
Rein Müllerson Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Rein Müllerson, a former adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev and a former deputy foreign minister in Estonia, has denied a report that he is assisting Russia in its Compatriots Policy.

The Russian media agency REX said on Monday that Müllerson is helping to encourage patriotism among Russian citizens through a Moscow-based international culture center, Gorodskaya Ploshchad, where he has been on the board of trustees for five years.

Müllerson told Õhtuleht yesterday that the assertion was “complete rubbish.”

"There has been no kind of talk about growing patriotism [...] It seems that journalism has simply gone the road of exploiting names in light of the tension in Estonian-Russian relations. What their goal is and why they decided to write such things at this moment, I cannot say. In any case, this approach is unpleasant,“ Müllerson said.

Confusingly, the media report mentioned that Müllerson is a supporter of the Tartu Peace Treaty, which the REX article described as having the purpose of ceding to Estonia ancient Russian territories that were returned to Russia in 1945.

The Moscow organization which Müllerson represents aims to develop cultural relations between Russia and the international community, the organization's website says. Müllerson added that other respectable individuals are also on the board of trustees, including academics and an Italian mayor.

Currently the head of Tallinn University's law department, Müllerson was born in St. Petersburg. He graduated from Moscow State University, where he later taught; he has also taught at King's College in London. He is a Center Party member and ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Estonian Parliament in 2011.