Reinsalu: Metaprint supplies essential raw materials to Russia

Urmas Reinsalu.
Urmas Reinsalu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Urmas Reinsalu, chair of Isamaa and former foreign minister, said Metaprint, a client of Stark Logistics, owned by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' spouse (Reform), supplied raw materials to Russia for the production of goods under EU sanctions.

"There has been talk of closing a factory in Russia. However, the factory's revenue increased to 1,8 billion roubles in 2022," Reinsalu said in a Thursday statement. "If raw materials are being shipped to the factory, last year was not the year it closed."

Reinsalu went on to say that there are separate legal and moral issues of supplying raw materials to the Russian factory. "This raw material is used to make aerosol cans, which have been under EU sanctions since spring this year to weaken Russian industry," he said. "Thus, raw materials were exported to Russia, which were later used to manufacture products under EU sanctions."

Reinsalu pointed out that the European Union has already imposed sanctions on certain non-alloyed metals beginning in July 2022, and that a number of other metal items will be added in March.

"To say that transporting goods to a factory in Russia is not transporting goods in Russia is utterly deceptive," Reinsalu said. "The prime minister has not provided substantive answers to questions of major importance."

"I recall making a written proposal to the Reform Party in June last year, during coalition negotiations, to close the land border with Russia, along with Poland and the other Baltic states, as a national sanction. Then, for whatever reason, it was ignored, and the coalition agreement simply included an agenda for an EU-wide policy.

"It is a moral and legal question whether the prime minister, as a person financially connected to such a business (via loans and family ties), should have recused herself from decision-making."

Metaprint did not reply to questions from numerous media outlets on Thursday, but did promise to provide clarifications later that evening.

Arvo Hallik, the husband of Kaja Kallas and a member of the Supervisory Board who owns a quarter of Stark Logistics' shares, is also promising to respond in writing.

Kallas, the prime minister and Reform Party chair, said she learned about the activities of her husband and his business partner in Russia on Monday. Stark Logistics' Russia operations will be shut down in September owing to his ethical assessment, Kallas said.

"I have always tried to keep my professional and personal lives separate, but now they have merged. At issue is my husband's business partner. I have no exposure to or thorough knowledge of his business activity," Kallas told a government press conference.

ERR wrote on Wednesday that a transport company partly owned by Prime Minister Kallas' husband Arvo Hallik has continued to operate in the direction of Russia during the war in Ukraine. Kallas pointed out that Hallik does not have any customers from the Russian Federation and that the company in question is helping to wind down an Estonian customer's manufacturing operations in Russia.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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