Laaneots: Center’s agreement with United Russia a security risk (8)
The Center Party’s cooperation agreement with Putin’s United Russia needed to be the first thing the new government coalition’s security program addresses, former Defence Forces commander and current MP Ants Laaneots (Reform) said.
Laaneots pointed out that the cooperation protocol with Putin’s party was a serious issue of the Center Party’s new coalition, and that they needed to get rid of it.
“The form of the agreement doesn’t count, or if it is frozen or not, what matters is that it is signed and valid. I really don’t understand why they are holding on to it,” Laaneots said on Wednesday, adding that unity and clear positions were essential in matters of defense policy.
With Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas, the Social Democrats and IRL were about to help a man to power who kept a contract with United Russia in his drawer. “As long as there’s a valid agreement between the Center Party and United Russia, there is not a single paper by a leftist government that could convince the Estonian people that their security is guaranteed,” Laaneots said.
He also insisted that citizenship policy was an integral part of Estonia’s security. Both the Center Party and the Social Democrats had supported Russian-language public education, and that the state should provide legal assistance in Russian as well. The two parties were planning to turn Estonia into a bilingual country.
Laaneots also said that he expected part of the “new leftist government” would focus on making the conditions for naturalization less strict. “This means abolishing the Estonian language exam, and the requirement to know the Estonian Constitution,” he added.
Currently Estonian law requires anyone who wishes to become a citizen to pass a language exam, to know the Constitution, and to swear an oath on it. The Center Party has repeatedly spoken out in favor to make the rules surrounding the procedure less strict. The Social Democrats are not suggesting a change to the current procedure.