Center wants to setup a committee to investigate PM Kallas' Russia scandal

Tanel Kiik.
Tanel Kiik. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The chair of the Center Party parliamentary group, Tanel Kiik, proposed the creation of a special committee to investigate Stark Logistics's business activities in Russia.

"The Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act (453 SE) obliges the summoned person to appear, provide explanations and reply to questions," Kiik said.

"The Riigikogu may form committees of investigation in order to investigate the circumstances of events of public interest," the act states.

"A committee of investigation has the right to summon persons to appear before the committee and to require the presentation of data and documents necessary for the performance of its duties. /.../ Failure to appear before a committee of investigation without a valid reason following a summons from the committee, failure to present data or documents, or refusal to provide explanations or to reply to questions is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units," Kiik cited §§ 22-23 of the act.

Kiik also sent an appeal to the leadership of the Riigikogu and the chairs of the parliamentary groups, adding that he considers it necessary to convene a meeting of the Riigikogu's Council of Elders to discuss how to resolve the political situation and how to ensure the functioning of parliamentary committees.

Helir-Valdor Seeder, chair of the Isamaa group, also proposed on Monday to convene the meeting.

Kiik said that Estonia is in its second week of a severe confidence and government crisis due to the business operations of the husband of the prime minister in Russia. "The public's reaction and various opinion polls demonstrate that the Estonian people anticipate the prime minister to provide a much more detailed explanation and accept greater political responsibility. Unfortunately, both the prime minister and manufacturers doing business in Russia have refused to appear before even the Riigikogu's special committees, which has exacerbated the crisis of confidence."

Kiik listed the following concerns that the investigation committee must at a minimum respond to:

1. When did the prime minister learn that her husband's company was doing business in Russia? When and who made the decision to end it?

2. Were Estonian security officials aware of the business operations mentioned, and did they alert the prime minister to the risks involved?

3. Under what circumstances and conditions did the prime minister grant a €370,000 loan to her husband's business?

4. Was the prime minister's money used to promote business in Russia and did she receive interest on the loan?

5. What lessons can be learned and what legislative changes are necessary to prevent similar situations from compromising Estonia's foreign and security policy in the future?


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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