President, not FM, has become foreign policy chief, says expert

Keit Pentus-Rosimannus
7/3/2015 3:26 PM
Category: Politics

After Urmas Paet was replaced by an inexperienced minister and a young PM was appointed, a vacuum opened up in Estonia's foreign affairs, says political commentator Ahto Lobjakas.

“When Keit Pentus-Rosimannus has left, a new foreign minister should fill that void to ensure that foreign policy direction should no longer be sought outside the government, from the president,” Lobjakas told ERR.

"Any new minister should be able to communicate with counterparts on an equal footing. That person should have the experience and the will as it will be the main contact point between Estonia and the rest of the world,” he said.

University of Tartu political science professor Vello Pettai said the reason behind the resignation appears to be more a calculated political move than a moral decision. He said Pentus-Rosimannus continuing in the post could have had a negative effect on the whole coalition, or the Reform Party.

Pettai added that whoever takes over the post, will have their hands full.

Taavi Rõivas, the prime minister, said he hopes to find a new minister in a week. Speaking about the resignation, Rõivas said Pentus-Rosimannus is involved in a civil case, not a criminal one, and there are no guilty parties, just winners and losers. He said he thinks the outgoing minister still has a future in politics.

Pentus-Rosimannus resigned on Wednesday, after a court named her liable in a bankruptcy case in which her father's company was drained of cash before being declared insolvent.

Urmas Paet, alongside Kaja Kallas, are the early frontrunners, but there are other serious candidates such as Anne Sulling and Marina Kaljurand. The candidate is likely to be a woman as the Cabinet currently only has two female ministers, one of whom is Pentus-Rosimannus.

J.M. Laats

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