Helme: Draft declaration of Russia as a terrorist regime should go further
Martin Helme, chair of the Conservative People's party of Estonia (EKRE), said the draft statement of the Riigikogu to declare the Russian regime terrorist should include references to closing the border, removing weapons from Russian citizens living in Estonia and reducing the number of staff at the Estonian embassy in Russia.
"I don't disagree with it at all. Russia is a mafia state, a terrorist state, an aggressor state. That is obvious to all of us. However, it is just another parliamentary statement with no practical output, I don't know who needs it," Helme told ERR.
Helme suggested that the statement could also include a pledge to downgrade the status of the Estonian embassy in Moscow. The EKRE chair would additionally like to see a declaration that Estonia will withdraw from the process of ratifying the Estonian-Russian border agreement.
"It could also include the closure of the eastern border. After all, our party has been saying since February that the eastern border should be closed to (prevent) the movement of goods and people," he said.
"This statement would have some practical value if it were to state that we are still going to take away weapons from citizens of this terrorist regime, of whom there are many in Estonia and who have a lot of weapons," the politician continued.
"If these things were all in there, then the statement would have practical value, otherwise it will remain as just regular parliamentary posturing," he said.
According to Helme, members of the EKRE foreign affairs committee had signed the draft. "Of course, we support this statement. We have no problem with the content of the statement. It's just that my suggestion is that some practical paragraphs should be added," Helme explained.
On Tuesday, 85 members of the Riigikogu submitted a draft statement condemning Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory and declare Russia a terrorist regime.
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Editor: Michael Cole