Director General of the Estonian Language Board (Keeleamet) Ilmar Tomusk, who has been sanctioned by Russia, has the full support of the government, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Thursday.
"It is extremely unfortunate that Russia is imposing sanctions on citizens who stand for European values. Ilmar Tomusk and the Language Board have the full support of the government," Kallas said. She said Tomusk has done commendable work in protecting the Estonian language.
At the end of April, Russia blacklisted eight citizens of the European Union, including Tomusk.
The list also included:
- Ivars Abolinš, Chairman of the Latvian National Media Council,
- Maris Baltinš, Director of the Latvian State Language Center,
- Jacques Maire, Member of the French Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
- Jörg Raupach, Prosecutor General of Berlin,
- David Maria Sassoli, President of the European Parliament,
- Asa Scott and Vera Jourova,
- Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency.
The involvement of Russian diplomats in a 2014 explosion in the Czech Republic eventually led the Baltic states to expel Russian diplomats, an action to which Russia responded by expelling four diplomats from the Baltics.
The Russian foreign ministry announced on Friday that banning another eight EU officials comes in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens in the EU in March. The Kremlin also recently placed Estonia, the U.S, the U.K, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and the Czech Republic on its "unfriendly" list.
Editor: Helen Wright