Raimond Kaljulaid to continue as National Defense Committee chair

MPs Leo Kunnas (EKRE) and Raimond Kaljulaid.
MPs Leo Kunnas (EKRE) and Raimond Kaljulaid. Source: Erik Peinar/Riigikogu

The National Defense Committee of the Riigikogu reelected MP Raimond Kaljulaid committee chair and MP Leo Kunnas (EKRE) deputy committee chair on Tuesday. The extraordinary elections were triggered by Kunnas' resignation as deputy chair, a move aimed at unseating Kaljulaid after it was revealed he had received support from individuals suspected of committing crypto fraud.

In accordance with the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act, Riigikogu committee chairs and deputy chairs must be elected simultaneously.

According to Mart Helme, deputy chair of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), it is unthinkable according to the party's convictions that Kaljulaid, who accepted money with a shady background to fund his election campaign, chair the National Defense Committee in the current security situation.

In 2019, Ivan Turõgin and Sergei Potapenko, two Estonians arrested last month as suspects in a $575 million cryptocurrency fraud case, had each donated €12,500 to Kaljulaid's European Parliament election campaign, in which he ran as an independent.

Kaljulaid has stated that he wasn't aware of the donors' potential link to fraud and hoped that the money he had received had come from legal business income.

Other members of the National Defense Committee of the Riigikogu include Heiki Hepner, Ants Laaneots, Kalle Laanet, Alar Laneman, Anneli Ott, Mati Raidma and Erki Savisaar.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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