Ratas: Society shouldn't be divided on Independence Day

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Speaking in an appearance on Vikerraadio on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said in reference to President Kersti Kaljulaid's speech that Estonia should not be divided into Andreses and Pearus on Independence Day, driving society into separate corners and dividing it.

"I am deeply saddened when I think about all that we could and should be discussing instead of entertaining the Pearu-like feeling caused by the rude and foolish statements being made right in our own parliament," Kaljulaid said in her speech on February 24, dividing politicians into Andreses and Pearus, after the main two characters of A. H. Tammsaare's "Truth and Justice."

The hosts on Vikerraadio asked which of the two iconic literary figures he sympathized with more.

Ratas responded that he wasn't going to start trying to analyze which of the two characters is good and which isn't. He noted that when Andres first arrived at Vargamäe, he espoused an idealistic wish to build a home, but life changed him a great deal. On the other hand, Pearu was more clever, and took a simpler approach toward life than Andres did.

"To this day I can still picture how Andres kicked his daughter out of his home because she liked flirting with Pearu's son," the prime minister recalled. "Andres said that his daughter had to leave, but Pearu did not do the same. In other words, in certain episodes we can see that Pearu cared more for his family and children. So I will not start compartmentalizing it and saying that one was good and one was bad. Both had their good and bad sides."

According to Ratas, Estonia needs to be built up between 6:05-6:30 p.m. on Independence Day as well — more bridges should be built, and the country should be united more — not divided up and driven into opposite corners, he concluded.

Ratas: Estonia has no territorial claims against Russia

The radio hosts also asked Ratas whether he had reached an agreement with Kaljulaid that the latter would be the one to state that Estonia has no territorial disputes against Russia as he himself was afraid of doing so because he did not want any disputes with Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder or President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE).

The prime minister responded that he had made no such deal with the president, and that he is not afraid to state his positions.

"Estonia has no territorial claims whatsoever against Russia," Ratas said. "Claims that we do have any are no position of the government. I recently met with ambassadors and the border treaty came up as well. I said that Estonia needs a border treaty more than it needs a control line. But my vision is that a border treaty is needed, and using the borders that were agreed upon in 2014."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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