The Tank T-34 monument in Narva is the manifestation of the fears of people in Narva, Center Party MEP Yana Toom said during an interview to Vikerraadio.
"There is consensus in the Narva city council, and I hope a compromise will be reached," Toom said. Most council members do not support the removal of the tank from its current location.
Toom said that the tank stands as a "manifestation of the fears of the people of Narva."
"Passions are soaring on both sides," Toom remarked. The MEP suggested that moving the tank from the roadside but keeping it somewhere in Narva, which should be done openly and with advance warning, could help manage tensions.
She added that she hopes Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) will refrain from using expressions such as "citizens of the aggressor" when she visits Narva on Monday.
Toom admitted she believes Kallas has no real desire to engage in dialogue in Narva.
"97 percent of Narva citizens are Russian-speaking, there is a great concentration of Russian citizens in the city. It would be a big mistake, looking at the map, to leave them with the impression that the Estonian state does not care about them," Toom said in terms of risks she perceives.
"The passions are flaring because of looming elections," Toom added.
PM Kaja Kallas is set to meet with the Narva city council and government on Monday to discuss plans to remove the Tank T-34 monument in the village of Siivertsi near the city.
The Government Office said that Kallas will be visiting Ida-Viru County to discuss the Soviet monuments situation with Narva and Narva-Jõesuu municipal authorities. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. and will be followed by a press conference at the Narva Vaba Lava Studio at 3 p.m.
Kallas said on Thursday last week the government has agreed that Soviet monuments, including the tank replica, need to be removed from public space as quickly as possible. The exact timing will depend on logistical considerations.
Editor: Marcus Turovski