The top Center Party candidate in the European Parliament elections, Edgar Savisaar, gave a lengthy interview to ERR radio in which he said that the West should accept the reality that Crimea was lost.
He said it showed a failure on Ukraine's part to deal with the situation, and the process was irreversible.
"The referendum was legitimate enough to believe in it," he said when pressed about the March vote. "Let's be brave and take these things seriously."
Water and basic needs were the main concern now, said Savisaar, who was one of the few top politicians in Estonia who remained relatively neutral during Russia's invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula.
In eastern Ukraine, Savisaar said the situation was too confusing to assess. "The skirmishes in which people die must end. The matter must go beyond the street and be handled by diplomats. Then there will be hope that things will calm," he said.
Savisaar bristled when asked, in the negative, whether he did not see Russia as a threat to Estonia - he has grown sensitive to being labeled as Russian friendly - and lectured the interviewer briefly.
He then said: "Estonia must be able to defend itself in all situations. Inhabitants have to be loyal and defend Estonia. If we achieve that, no one has any interest to attack us. It would not end well for them."
"If we are strong and we have internal unity, there is no threat of war," he added.
Savisaar, mayor of Tallinn, has said he will not be seated in European Parliament if elected. His main plank with regard to the future of the EU is a more centralized, federal union.