Yana Toom on tank removal: Integration efforts nullified

Yana Toom.
Yana Toom. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

MEP Yana Toom (Center, ALDE), who is in Narva-Jõesuu today, told Vikerraadio in an interview that people come up to her on the street to express how disgusted they feel over the tank monument's removal. Toom said that recent years' efforts at integration in Narva have been nullified.

"I don't think people care that much about the tank. Rather, it is the symbolic gesture. I'm currently in Narva-Jõesuu. I took a long walk in the morning during which every other person stopped me to say how disgusted they are today. Whoever is at fault, but efforts at integration made here in recent years have been canceled," Toom said.

The MEP added that while the removal of the tank-monument will not cause unrest in Narva, people's feelings have been hurt. "It is calm here, but whether this has brought people closer to the state... I very much doubt that."

Toom offered that the tank's removal will be sharply condemned in Russia, while she does not consider a strong provocation in Estonia likely. "They have their hands full in Ukraine," she suggested.

The MEP said that people in Narva understand how Estonians feel about the Narva tank. "There are no problems there, the problem is how it is being done," Toom offered.

She criticized the Narva coalition for failure to decide and take responsibility. "The coalition had the votes it needed. They could have taken whichever decision yesterday. But they failed to do so and are now pointing fingers at the opposition. Someone had to take political responsibility, but they were reluctant to do it. It is the purpose of a ruling coalition to bear responsibility. They want power but not the responsibility that comes with it, and here we are now," Toom said.

The government relocated the "Tank T-34" monument on the outskirts of Narva before noon on Tuesday and said it would be taken to the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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