Russian ambassador to Estonia summoned over foreign minister comments
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassador of the Russian Federation to condemn the embassy's statement on social media, which was an attempt to attack foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center).
"The statement of the Russian embassy [on May 5] was poorly worded and offensive propaganda. The statement and the social media post, which mixed completely unrelated topics and lacked adequate reasoning, was regrettably aimed at attacking the Estonian foreign minister," Undersecretary Märt Volmer, who conducted the meeting, said on Friday.
Volmer stressed to the Russian ambassador that according to the recently published World Press Freedom Index, Estonia is at the forefront of media freedom and placed fourth in the rankings.
The undersecretary said that states that can be found at the bottom of the list, such as Russia, could learn a few things from Estonia, such as ensuring media freedom and democratic development in their country.
Freedom of the press, independent media and the protection of journalists is an important foreign policy topic for Estonia.
In February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a high-level global conference for media freedom and topics connected to the freedom of the press are a priority area in the ministry's actions.
The Russian embassy's Facebook post criticized the Estonian government for blocking Russian language media websites saying citizens were not able to access "objective and truthful information". Estonia's regulator said these channels spread Russian propaganda.
It also mentioned the expulsion of a resident of Estonia on security grounds for pre-Kremlin hate speech.
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Editor: Helen Wright