Tallinn Mayor to Visit Russian Patriarch
Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar is heading to Moscow today to visit the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
A city government spokesperson said Savisaar does not have any other meetings on his agenda at the moment, reported Postimees. Savisaar is scheduled to return tomorrow.
The Russian patriarch made a three-day visit to Estonia in June to attend the consecration of the Lasnamäe Orthodox Church. It was an important event for followers of the Orthodox faith, reportedly even drawing pilgrims from abroad.
Polling experts have attributed Savisaar's political popularity to his outreach to Estonia's Russian voters, including, most recently, in the form of building the Orthodox church and organizing the patriarch's visit.
However, in 2010 another visit to Russia got Savisaar in trouble, when authorities said he had conspired to secretly take 1.5 million euros in cash from Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin, a former KGB officer, allegedly to fund the building of the Lasnamäe church.
The incident prompted a political scandal, with critics calling Savisaar a national security threat and an “agent of Russian influence,” but the mayor was not shaken from his long-held post.