IRL to Petition For Closing of City-Run Russian Newspaper ({{commentsTotal}})

The Tallinn Council opposition party IRL said it will seek to close Stolitsa, the city-funded Russia-language website and newspaper, for "supporting Russian activities in Ukraine."

The editor in chief of Stolitsa, Aleksandr Tšaplõgin, said in print at the end of April that it was Russian President Vladimir Putin's duty as president to unite Crimea with Russia, ETV reported on Wednesday.

“The statements made by the editor in chief, saying that adding Crimea to Russia is justifiable by the national interests of Russia, and Europe has no right in interfere in what is happening in Ukraine, have been lifted straight from Putin's propaganda text book,” said IRL faction member Tarmo Kruusimäe.

Tšaplõgin also drew comparisons with the USA in connection the nation's campaigns in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ain Saarna, head of Tallinn's public relations office, said Tšaplõgin merely analyzed the behavior of superpower states.

“Of course readers do not have to agree with everything written. But a person must be able to express his or her opinion,” Saarna said, adding that if Tšaplõgin posed a threat to Estonian's independence, certain authorities would have arrested him.

IRL will hand the motion over to the city council on May 15.