Foreign Affairs MPs Assume New Putin Same as the Old Putin
Members of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee say the election of Vladimir Putin as the president of Russia will not lead to significant change in Estonian-Russian relations.
The committee chairman, IRL member Marko Mihkelson said Putin will face unresolved questions, such as the issues confronted by the large middle class.
"Certainly it can be assumed that the protest movement seen in the past months will not fade as the reasons that led to the demonstrations lie much deeper," he told ERR radio news.
Mihkelson said Putin's return to the Kremlin would not result in changes for Estonian-Russian relations.
Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Sven Mikser said it was clear Putin did not plan to become a reformer. "At the same time, the public's support for him is certainly on the way down and public pressure for the political leadership to change their demeanor is more palpable than ever before," said the Social Democrat.
Mikser said Putin has two options: to be the strongman, which is more in line with his nature, or to respond positively to public expectations and change his style.
Reform Party member Margus Hanson, also a member of the committee said Russia's language in foreign relations could become stronger but said Estonia should follow the same line as it has to this point.
Deputy chairman of the committee, Centre Party MP Enn Eesmaa told ETV that the news that Russia would continue the same line as in the past ten years could provide some measure of security.