Arctic Sea Case Still Wrapped in Fog of Speculation
After a period of quiet, the Arctic Sea case was brought back to the foreground today with Postimees reporting that Russian authorities have declined to comment on the details of accusations against IRL politician Eerik-Niiles Kross.
The main question that observers are still asking is whether Russian authorities really have evidence against Kross, the former head of Estonian intelligence, a businessman and currently a part-time adviser for the Defense Ministry.
The affair reached new heights when Interpol internationally relayed a notice on Russia's arrest warrant. The notice, which countries are not required to honor, was posted on October 18, just one day ahead of Estonia's local elections, in which Kross was a leading mayoral candidate in Tallinn.
Estonian prosecutors have maintained that they do not have enough evidence to make any connection between Kross and the Arctic Sea.
Interpol's timing was seen by many as Russian interference in Estonian politics. At the same time, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip criticized his coalition partners for contributing to the politicization of the case.
The Arctic Sea cargo ship, whose crew was Russian, was hijacked in the Baltic Sea in 2009. It was later recovered by Russian authorities in the Atlantic Ocean. Several individuals who were implicated in the hijacking were Estonian residents. The circumstances of the matter remain awash with speculation as to what actually happened.