Defense minister: Helmes' statements threaten US-Estonian relations

Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) at the Victory Day ceremony at Toompea.
Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) at the Victory Day ceremony at Toompea. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) said on Sunday that comments made by EKRE ministers Mart and Martin Helme about falsified U.S elections "undermine Estonian security and threaten to deteriorate US-Estonian relations".

Luik said in a statement:

"Statements made by both Mart and Martin Helme undermine Estonian security and threaten to deteriorate US-Estonian relations. We are a country of one million people on the border of Russia. Taking into account the Estonian geopolitical situation, our relationship with the U.S. is of existential importance. Every U.S. president has always been and will always continue to be our friend and Ally. This requires the building of close and trustworthy contacts with US leaders.

"We know the new president-elect Joe Biden well. He has always been very friendly towards Estonia. Biden was one of the architects for NATO's enlargement. President Obama and Vice President Biden also deployed US soldiers and fighter aircraft to Estonia right after Russia attacked Ukraine. These were not massive forces, but they sent a clear message - if you intervene in Estonia, you'll have to deal with the U.S. as well. This helped, nobody intervened in Estonia.

"In my view, the statements made by Mart and Martin Helme are dangerous to the security of all of us, including that of their own supporters. Not that it matters a great deal today, but this definitely undermines the agreements made by the coalition a few weeks back regarding future cooperation."

Members of EKRE Mart and Martin Helme and MEP Jaak Madison, who recently returned from the United States, said on their TRE radio talk show on Sunday that the results of U.S. presidential elections are falsified and Biden becoming president may mark a decline for the United States.

According to Mart Helme, Biden was elected president by the deep state.

"The logic based on which the deep state operates is to smuggle in dirt bags, corrupt dirt bags that can be blackmailed. Joe Biden and Hunter Biden are corrupt characters," the interior minister said.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) called the comments "absurd" and President Kersti Kaljulaid said they were a "verbal assault... an attack against Estonian democracy and security", adding she was "sad and embarrassed". Kaljulaid will convene the Defense Council this week to discuss the situation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said the remarks were crazy and Reform Party Chairman Kaja Kallas will call a vote of no confidence in Mart Helme this week.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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