President Alar Karis told ERR in a short interview that Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is obligated to clarify the details of the recent scandal involving her husband's Russia business links, which is when the severity of the situation or further steps can be evaluated.
"I'm somewhat saddened to have to talk about this when we are celebrating Ukraine National Day, but I believe that society expects the prime minister to clarify matters. Once she has done that, she will likely have to think things through and consult with her advisers regarding any steps," Karis said.
PM Kallas emphasized in an interview to ERR Wednesday that she is the head of government for Estonia, not an entrepreneur, that she has no contact with her husband's business dealings, and that all questions should be put to Stark Logistics.
"I believe there are more details than that. And if she says that she is the prime minister, that is precisely why she should provide clarification," Karis said.
Raimond Kaljulaid, member of the Riigikogu National Defense Committee, said Wednesday that it has become a matter of Estonia's reputation and international credibility. Karis agreed.
"If these allegations have merit, these aspects are relevant," the president said.
"We are seeing more cases where sanctions that we have agreed on in Europe are not holding. We recently had a case where agricultural machinery was transported through Estonia. These incidents need to be made public. If we have agreed on something, in this case sanctions, we should stick to them lest we make fools of ourselves," Karis added.
"It is up to the prime minister what she will do next. How serious she and her colleagues regard these allegations. I do not have all the details and cannot gauge the seriousness of the situation. That is why I said I would expect the prime minister to shed more light on the situation," Karis suggested.
ERR wrote Wednesday that a transport company owned in part by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' husband Arvo Hallik has continued doing business in Russia during the Ukraine war. Kallas said that Hallik has no Russian customers and that the firm in question (Stark Logistics) is helping an Estonian company wrap up its operations in Russia.
Editor: Marcus Turovski