Arvo Hallik, the husband of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), does not intend to give up his stake in Stark Warehousing OÜ — a company co-owned by Martti Lemendik, the majority shareholder of Stark Logistics, one of the parties involved in the Russia-related scandal to unfold over the past week.
Both Hallik and Lemendik, his business partner in Stark Logistics, each hold a 30-percent stake in Stark Warehousing, which was founded in August 2021. It's this 30-percent stake in the latter company that the prime minister's husband does not intend to give up.
"Stark Warehousing is a company that provides warehousing services," Hallik told ERR. "It is not a subsidiary of or sister company to Stark Logistics AS, nor is it involved in logistics or transport services. I am not planning on selling my stake."
According to Hallik, he sold his stake in Stark Logistics back to the company itself, i.e. to Stark Logistics AS.
"We're currently in the process of finalizing the transaction," he said.
Asked what was in the shipment that headed for Russia in a Stark Logistics truck on Friday, Hallik responded that it was no longer substantively or legally correct for him to provide answers to questions involving that company.
He refused on the same grounds to comment on whether and to what extent Stark Logistics engaged in sanctions evasion, and on what exactly was hauled to Russia following the March sanctioning of the transport of sheet zinc.
ERR also questioned Hallik regarding the details of the €350,000 loan Prime Minister Kaja Kallas had given to her husband's holding company Novaria Consulting.
Public relations manager Andreas Kaju replied in Hallik's stead, referring ERR to Hallik's previous statements: that this loan was put toward a holding and investment company through which it was invested in private equity fund BaltCap and companies, for example, but that it was necessary for the construction of their house to liquidate and return this loan, which was done this summer.
"The loan was repaid," Kaju said. "Of course, the construction of the house was paid for by private individuals."
Speaking to daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL), Hallik said that he invested the money he had borrowed from his spouse in starting up Stark Warehousing, among other things.
Between August 2021 and the end of 2022, Stark Warehousing saw a turnover of €332,000 and posted a loss of €171,000.
Editor: Aili Vahtla