Russian foreign minister hits out at Estonia Sputnik actions

Sergei Lavrov speaking at Friday's press conference in Moscow.
Sergei Lavrov speaking at Friday's press conference in Moscow. Source: ERR

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has hit out at the Estonian authorities' decision to close down the Estonian arm of the Sputnik media agency

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Lavrov criticized the move, which saw Sputnik having to pull out of Tallinn late last year, as well as pointing the finger at the EU for a lack of action on the matter.

Sanctions against Sputnik's owner, Rossiya Segodnya (literally "Russia Today", though not to be confused with the RT international TV network, which is also Kremlin-funded-ed.) led to Sputnik moving out of its rental office in Tallinn late last year, citing Estonian banks not accepting Sputnik salary and other payments.

"As far as the specific actions against Sputnik are concerned, I think it's humbling. The fact that the EU swallows this down and can't do anything is another blemish on the reputation of the union. And there are already a lot of those stains," Lavrov said, as reported on ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Friday evening.

The Russian foreign minister was responding to a question from Jelena Tšerõševa, who had been manager of the Estonian Sputnik operations and had said both President Kersti Kaljulaid and foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) had engaged in undiplomatic, anti-Russian statements.

Lavrov also said that no progress had been made on the border treaty between the two countries.

"As far as Estonia's statements are concerned, yes, my colleague has already said that the Border Treaty will not be ratified because it will cancel the Tartu Peace Treaty (of 1920-ed.). And that the Pytalovo district (actually the former Latvian region of Pitalova-ed.) or what we owe - I don't remember anymore."

Lavrov also noted that Russian president Vladimir Putin had been amenable to meeting Kersti Kaljulaid when she requested it, while on a visit to Moscow last April.

"As for the statement by the Estonian President, when she requested a meeting in Moscow, Vladimir Putin met her; I would sum up the situation like this: We are neighbors, we have disagreements, but we must be good neighbors. bably something happened to her after he returned to her capital," Lavrov said.

Lavrov declined to answer questions as to what his status would be in the aftermath of the Russian government's resignation earlier in the week, following the announcement of sweeping reforms by Putin.

Rossija Segodnya's director, Dmitri Kisseljov, is on an EU personal sanctions list due to his central role in propaganda surrounding the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, by the Russian Federation, as well as the ongoing insurgency war in the east of Ukraine.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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