The businessman husband of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) has stepped down from his position on the board of an Estonian real estate developer which had previously had some focus on the Russian market, among other markets, daily Postimees reports.
Arvo Hallik, the spouse of the prime minister, left the board of the real estate company Restate Property Developers OÜ of his own volition on Friday, the same day that he announced he was divesting himself in his 24.8-percent stake in Stark Logistics, the company at the heart of the recent controversy, adding that he wanted to concentrate largely on his own company, Novaria Consult.
Restate, at that time known as Hammerhead, attracted media coverage in 2019, Postimees says, after it wanted to build a 30-hectare residential quarter and a 12-hectare industrial park, in Kaliningrad, Russia – the company had experienced an initial, less successful period in that market starting from 2008.
Company co-founder and CEO Risto Abel, who himself ceased to be a shareholder in the firm after the February 2022 invasion, told Postimees that Restate "does not consider it justified or justified to differentiate our cooperation partners on the basis of nationality," adding that it deals with clients who are either citizens of Estonia or have a permanent residence permit here and have a long-term track record of having been active in the business scene in Estonia.
Arvo Hallik had joined Restate's board in October 2020, the daily says.
Revelations last week that Hallik had a significant stake in a company transporting manufactured items to Russia, more specifically aerosol can components which, unlike the finished product, are not subject to sanctions, put pressure on the prime minister, given her consistently tough stance on doing business with Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine starting February 2022.
Editor: Andrew Whyte