Long-serving former diplomat and current defense and foreign policy researcher Kalev Stoicescu is joining non-parliamentary party Eesti 200, and is also running for party leadership ahead of the Riigikogu elections next March.
Stoicescu says his decision to join the party derives from its placing importance on openness, innovation, Nordic-orientation and, in a positive sense, moderate nationalism and liberal democracy values.
Stoicescu said: "Eesti 200 is the political party which stands for these values and principles. I have dedicated my entire diplomatic and security career to deepening Estonia's European and Nordic identity, and I want to implement this in politics as well."
"Estonia must stand strong for its interests in the EU and NATO, while always looking for cooperation and solutions, not closing in on itself and breaking the unity of allies," he went on.
Stoicescu added he is sure that Eesti 200, founded in 2018 though still not represented at the Riigkogu, will be successful in the upcoming elections, and that the party will be a key factor in the formation of a new government following those elections.
Unconfirmed information has it that Stoicescu is running in the Hiiumaa, Lääne County and Saaremaa constituency at the general election in March 2023.
The party's current leader Kristina Kallas said Eesti 200 has strongly grown its team of security experts over the past year, noting d, Merle Maigre former security adviser to two former presidents, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Kersti Kaljuali, as an example.
"Eesti 200 is today capable of leading Estonia's foreign and security policy with clear messages and plans," Kallas said.
The party's leadership election is on October 15.
Stoicescu has worked is a former Estonian ambassador to the US, Canada, Mexico and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and also worked as a defense advisor at the Ministry of Defense 2002-2014. Since 2014, he has been a researcher at the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS).
Eesti 200 narrowly missed picking up seats at the 2019 general election and won its first seats in local government at the October 2021 elections. It is likely to compete for votes with the Reform Party, and to a certain extent with SDE and Isamaa as well.
Editor: Andrew Whyte