Former Italian MEP and journalist Giulietto Chiesa has left Estonia after being detained for violating a no entry ban.
Tuuli Härson, a spokesman for the police, said Chiesa, who was a member of the Italian communist party and who worked as a Soviet-funded journalist in the 1980s in Moscow, was not stopped at a border as Schengen-area travel is not checked. He was later detained in his hotel.
Chiesa himself said he is waiting for an apology from Estonian authorities adding that he could turn to the courts.
At a press conference today, Chiesa said he is not in Estonia to protect Russian interests, but "hysterical attacks" against Russia are in no one's interest. He promised to return to Estonia.
The Estonian Interior Ministry told Postimees they have reason to believe Chiesa, who has already twice participated in NGO Impressum conferences, could threaten Estonia's public order and security.
The Italian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Estonian ambassador to Rome, Celia Kuningas-Saagpakk, Defli reported, adding that the ambassador explained to the Italian authorities Estonia's version of the situation.
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, K. Rikken