Mihkelson on Moscow visit to discuss foreign, security policy
The Chairman of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson will present Estonia's views on the foreign and security situation in the region at a rare meeting in Moscow on Monday.
The Reform politician will participate at a round table event attended by students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and foreign and security policy experts from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"In the current highly dangerous security policy situation, it is important that our views are voiced also in direct communication in Moscow," Mihkelson said in a statement.
The politician will also meet with Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Board of the Russian Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Jan Raczynski, chairman of the board of International Memorial, Alexander Cherkasov, chairman of the Levada Center, Denis Volkov, director of the Levada Center, and allied ambassadors.
Additionally, Mihkelson will meet with Leonid Slutsky, his counterpart, the chairman of the Russian State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee.
On Sunday, Mihkelson posted a photo taken from the plane window and wrote: "Surreal but true. I am on my way to Moscow. My message will be simple and clear - stop the war!"
Surreal but true. I am on my way to Moscow. My message will be simple and clear - stop the war! pic.twitter.com/ffXJbbdG2C— Marko Mihkelson (@markomihkelson) February 6, 2022
Estonian politicians rarely visit Russia as relations between the two countries are tense. Last year the foreign ministers of both countries held their first phone call in five years. Former President Kersti Kaljulaid's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in 2019 was highly controversial.
This time the visit comes as Russia masses thousands of troops on Ukraine's borders and demands NATO forces be removed from countries that were not members of the alliance in 1997, meaning Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.
Baltic ministers have called for more allied troops and military equipment on the eastern flank and in the region. The UK, USA, Denmark, and the Netherlands are among the countries which have already agreed to do so.
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Editor: Helen Wright