IRL's top candidate at the March 2015 parliamentary elections, Juhan Parts, said Estonia needs a tougher foreign minister than Urmas Paet and that Siim Kallas would be the right person for the job.
“As the region had hardliners such as Radoslaw Sikorski from Poland and Swedish FM Carl Bildt we had someone to take the lead but I think it is Estonia's turn now. Let Paet go to Brussels and the Reform Party name a foreign minister capable of being tough – influential and trustworthy in the foreign policy circles of the West,” Parts said in front of Parliament today.
Kallas, also from Reform, has held in the post before.
Parts said that if the Reform Party does not reach an agreement, IRL has 3-4 hardline candidates to offer.
He also said Estonia had an image problem as the foreign press has labeled Estonia as a possible next target for Russia, which is bad for the economy, foreign investments and tourism. Parts said Estonia needs to find a balance between a realistic cause for concern and self-confidence and showing stability.
Parts, who was the PM between 2003 and 2005, and was responsible for economic affairs for seven years, said the Foreign Ministry must reorganize its press department, and news about Estonia's soft achievements should be replaced by an active policy on communication in the Western information sphere.
Rumors circulated in the media after the May European Parliament elections that Paet will replace Andrus Ansip as an MEP, after Ansip is named Estonia's EU Commissioner. Ansip is Estonia's candidate for a commission spot, but is yet to leave the European Parliament.