Erkki Bahovsk, Editor-in-chief of the Diplomaatia magazine, said that it is hard to tell if the negative media focus or letting an unwelcome person into Estonia causes more damage to the state, and banning Italian journalist Giulietto Chiesa was a move against pro-Kremlin NGO Impressum rather than against the Italian personally.
He told uudised.err.ee that the norm is that nations do not publish the reason for no entry bans, adding that Chiesa was allowed to give a press conference in Estonia.
“I presume Estonian powers have more information on why the decision was made, although Estonia's image will be tarnished abroad,” he said, adding that hopefully, a greater damage was staved off and Estonian diplomats have explained the situation to country's allies.
Bahovski said Russia often uses the word “fascism” when attacking Estonia, although it supports organizations in Europe which can definitely be labeled “fascist.”
“Limiting freedom of speech is very serious and it is a tough question where the border between inciting violence and repressing freedom of speech, lies,” Bahovski said.
Italian journalist and former MEP Giulietto Chiesa was detained by Estonian police on Monday evening for violating a no entry order. He left the country on Tuesday bound on a train to Moscow.
He was due to speak at a conference organized by the pro-Kremlin NGO Impressum in Tallinn.
Editor: A. Krjukov, J.M. Laats, S. Tambur