Following yesterday’s news that Mayor of Tallinn and Estonian opposition leader Edgar Savisaar is under investigation by the Internal Security Service (ISS or KaPo) for bribery, Russian media also stepped in.
The media coverage on the news in Russia was fairly widespread, albeit mainly briefs. Some outlets made a special notion that Savisaar is the opposition leader and one of the few Estonian politicians who want to keep good relations with Russia.
All the main Russian media outlets have published the bribery scandal, such as Interfax, Ria Novosti and TASS. Most of them mention the fact that many ethnic Russians in Estonia support the Center Party.
Parlamentskaja Gazeta wrote that a “witch hunt for Savisaar” has been going on in Estonia for years. The outlet said that it is mainly due to Savisaar’s friendly approach towards Russia. It added that Savisaar has been accused in Estonia for “representing Kremlin’s interests” and for “being a Russian agent”.
Moskovksi Komsomolets wrote that ISS has openly named Savisaar as “Russian agent”. It added that Savisaar has rebuked the latest bribery accusations, saying that it was government’s attempt to divert attention away from the recent Port of Tallinn corruption scandal, which involved members of governing Reform Party.
Rossiiskaja Gazeta, the official publication of Russian government, went even further, with the headline “who ordered the detention of Tallinn’s Mayor?”, noting that Savisaar is well known for his independent views and supporting the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
ERR spoke also with one of the politicians from the current ruling party in Russia, United Russia – also known as “Putin’s party” – which has had ties with Savisaar-led Center Party since 2003. Andrei Klimov, a presidium member of United Russia told ERR that he will approach the scandal in a “wider context”.
“We usually receive negative signals from Estonia. And what I mean is that most officials and politicians are hostile to Russia. Hence, if there is a criminal investigation against someone who is not a Russophobe, my first thought is that it is a some kind of political punishment,” Klimov said.
The Internal Security Service (ISS or KaPo) is investigating Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar in relation to bribery allegations. It went public with the investigation on Tuesday.
Editor: S. Tambur