Tiit Vähi: Estonia could be a mediator between Russia and the West (8)
Transit businessman and former prime minister Tiit Vähi said to daily Postimees on Monday that Estonia should change its position and work towards repealing the economic sanctions against Russia.
Vähi said that he was convinced that Russia wasn’t planning to attack or invade the Baltic States. “I agree with German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier that the construction of NATO bases and the conduction of mass training exercises in Estonia is influencing the security situation negatively,” Vähi stated.
If tanks, rockets, and armed troops lined up along either side of the border, trade would suffer, and this again was a problem for Estonian companies, especially those who do business between the European and Russian markets, Vähi pointed out.
“I think Estonia could be a mediator between the European Union and Russia, much like Finland,” he added.
In Vähi’s opinion Estonian politicians should change their position and work towards repealing the economic sanctions imposed on Russia after its annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Of course, solidarity required that as long as the majority of EU member states insisted on the sanctions, Estonia had to go along.
Vähi stressed that it was necessary to return to the basics of cooperation with Russia, namely economic cooperation, movement of capital, and visa freedom.