'Samost ja Sildam': Solidarity with Czechia not the same as with UK

Anvar Samost (left) and Toomas Sildam, on an earlier Vikerraadio broadcast..
Anvar Samost (left) and Toomas Sildam, on an earlier Vikerraadio broadcast.. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

There was greater solidarity when the United Kingdom asked allies to demonstrate support regarding Russia after the poisoning of the Skripals compared to a similar call by the Czech Republic more recently, hosts of "Samost ja Sildam" found.

Czechia that has expelled 81 Russian diplomats this year asked other EU member states to do the same in a show of solidarity, while reactions have largely been limited to Eastern Europe.

"Larger countries have not been very active here. We cannot see such steps being taken, even on the level of expelling diplomats in Western Europe. Therefore, it seems that another country's foreign intelligence operatives blowing up a sovereign state's munitions warehouses is okay," Anvar Samost said. "What does Germany expelling a single diplomat even mean? Absolutely nothing," he added.

Toomas Sildam said that expelling even a single diplomat is still a sign.

Samost said Germany has had the chance to send a message for years but has instead moved forward with developing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Sildam admitted that allies do not seem to be demonstrating the same kind of solidarity with Czechia than they did in the case of the UK.

"There was near-universal solidarity when the Brits asked for it after the Skripals were poisoned. It has been harder to come by for the Czechs," Sildam said.

He added that Russia's decision to pull out of the Finno-Ugric movement can also be counted as a political move. This will also put to bed the question of whether President Vladimir Putin will attend the Finno-Ugric conference to be held in Tartu. He was invited by President Kersti Kaljulaid.

"Jüri Luik was right when he said that Russia-West relations are like a dialogue between a deaf and a mute. Russia is increasingly cutting itself off from the West," Sildam said.

USA has expelled ten, Poland four, Slovakia three and Bulgaria two Russian diplomats this year. Estonia, Italy, Ukraine, Albania, Germany and Sweden have each expelled one diplomat.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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