Sciences Academy president: ISS should call Russia's FSB once a year

Tarmo Soomere
Tarmo Soomere Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonia should learn from the Finns how to protect is interests and avoid demonizing its neighboring country, head of the Estonian Academy of Sciences and presidential candidate Tarmo Soomere said in an interview to the Tallinn city government Russian-language newspaper Stolitsa. Chairman of the Center Party, Jüri Ratas, doesn't rule out the academic being the next head of state, despite insufficient support from the five political parties.

Soomere expressed his views to Stolitsa on what the president's role should be in international communication, and also talked about Estonia's foreign politics.

In the interview, entitled "Tarmo Soomere: The Lost President", the academic said that in foreign communication, the head of state is representing politics which has been formed in the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government, Riigikogu and the president. Soomere said that foreign politics has to be prudent, thought-through and not harm anyone.

"We should learn from the Finns how to protect our interests," Soomere said.

Journalist Boriss Tuhh noted that Estonia currently has tense relationships with Russia, with both countries expelling each others' diplomats several times this year so far.

"We have to realize what Russia actually wants. I'm completely sure that normal relations have to be created with our neighbors," Soomere said.

"Neighbors should be talked to cross-border. Even more, as we are not to maintain our border when the other side is not doing it," he said.

"Maybe I'm an idealist, but I do think that the director of the Internal Security Service (ISS) should call their counterpart at the Russian Security Service, the FSB, if there is anything that should be noted. This is not revealing any state secrets, this is consulting," Soomere said.

Soomere said that wars tend to enter their most devastating phases when an opponent is demonized. "It is vital to avoid demonizing our neighbors - in our own interests."

Soomere was proposed as candidate for the presidency by Jüri Ratas. He then met with the Center and the Reform Party, Isamaa and the Social Democrats' (SDE) parliament political groups, after which Ratas announced that he, Soomere, doesn't have sufficientpolitical support.

As of Tuesday, the situation had changed

"Regarding Tarmo Soomere, he has not disappeared as a candidate. We currently don't have 68 members of the Riigikogu supporting him, but that doesn't mean he couldn't be a candidate," Ratas told ERR.

By that time, the search for another candidate had foundered, after several individuals declined the offer, while several other candidates weren't supported by one or the other of the two coalition partners.

By Tuesday, it was clear that Soomere still wants to run as president, however.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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