Pro-Kremlin Italian journalist and former MEP Giulietto Chiesa was taken to a police station for questioning late on Monday from his hotel room in Tallinn, as he has been declared persona non grata in Estonia.
Tuuli Härson, a spokesman for the police, told uudised.err.ee the police are currently investigating how and when he arrived in Estonia.
Chiesa was due to speak at a NGO Impressum meeting titled “Does Europe need to fear Russia?” He has spoken at similar events organized by Impressum, which Estonian authorities say is a propaganda tool financed by the Russian government.
Chiesa was a member of the Italian Communist Party, a MEP between 2004-2009 and was also stationed in Moscow for 20 years during the Soviet period as a Soviet Union-financed Italian journalist.
He had spoken at Impressum events in Estonia twice before, in 2008 and 2011, published a number of controversial books, including one which, among other topics, also focused on the relocation of the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn. He also supported Arnold Meri, an Estonian Soviet army veteran charged by Estonian authorities for genocide for his role in the deportation of Estonians to Siberia.
He has spoken critically of Georgia's action in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and supported the Russian annexation of the Crimea.
Editor: J.M. Laats S. Tambur