Politico: Ukraine would lose 'key ally' if Kallas doesn't return as premier

Kaja Kallas taking part in the
Kaja Kallas taking part in the "Valimisstuudio" party leaders' debate on Wednesday,

Were Kaja Kallas to not return as prime minister of Estonia following the current Riigikogu elections and ensuing coalition negotiations, this would represent a blow to Ukraine and the loss of a key ally, news portal Politico opines.

In a piece by Charlie Duxbury entitled "Ukraine's Estonian ally Kaja Kallas faces reelection battle", Politico says that should the Conservative People's Party of Estonia "take power, its leader Martin Helme would be likely to continue supporting Ukraine, given the broad public backing the strategy enjoys among a population long suspicious of Moscow, but it could lack some of the verve of Kallas' approach."

Politico lists Kallas alongside U.K. former prime minister Boris Johnson as an outstanding leader in the reaction to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, now entering its second year, adding that while she is "one of war-torn Ukraine's firmest European friends," she faces a tough challenge in emerging from the elections still as the country's leader, and thus maintaining a stance on Russia which Politico describes as "ultra-hard".

While both Kallas and Helme declined to give an interview to Politico, the portal took the temperature on the street in Tallinn – at the Viru keskus – where Reform Party campaigning paraphernalia included snaps with current British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak during an official visit at the end of last year in which the regulation trip to Tapa base took place.

The latter, Politico said, could threaten western unity if in office again, if the last time was anything to go by – citing various remarks made by then-interior minister Mart Helme, father of the current party leader.

One expert, Professor Vello Andres Pettai of the University of Tartu, told the portal that if in office again, still more so in prime ministerial office, EKRE and its leadership would likely have to dial down this rhetoric somewhat.

Whether that is a likely outcome or not, Politico stated – recalling 2019 when Reform "won" (ie. took the largest number of seats of any single party-ed.) the election but ended up locked out of discussions as the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition was born – Helme is certainly keeping up the pressure on the defense front, and Politico surmised a recent spat between the two leaders on the purported depletion of Estonia's defensive capabilities, as weaponry was sent in order to help Ukraine.

The Politico piece is here, and contains a lengthier up-sum of Kallas' background and career for readers outside of Estonia, perhaps testimony to the strong showing the current prime minister has for long tended to get in the international media in general, and the English-language media in particular.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Politico

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