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Estonian FM warns residents against signing Russian 'loyalty agreement'

Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) warned Estonians and Estonian residents against signing Russia's proposed "loyalty agreement". He said this could have serious consequences in Estonia.

"If you look at this (Russian - ed.) initiative, it calls for a pledge of allegiance to its own conception of history, its own conception of the world, and in principle also a pledge of allegiance to the aggression that is being carried out today. And I certainly do not recommend that any Estonian sign it, because at some point there will be a document somewhere in which a person has agreed to everything that Russia is doing today – violations of international law, genocide, deportation of children, aggression. And if somebody has signed it saying that they really support all that, then actually they are a person who supports aggression, and that can have very serious consequences," the minister said at the government's weekly press conference when asked by ERR if signing the agreement could have consequences in Estonia.

Russia's Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday said it is preparing a draft that would require foreigners entering the country to sign a "loyalty agreement", Meduza reported.  

Anyone who signs it would not be able to criticize Russian domestic or foreign policy, counter its World War II "victory over fascism" narrative, or promote "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations".

The ministry did not specify when it plans to submit the draft law to the Russian State Duma.

Tsahkna said he recommended all travel to Russia stop, as the border could close quickly and citizens may not be able to return home. "Life is very dangerous there, there is no freedom and all sorts of other problems."

After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Latvian officials requested Russians crossing the border into the EU at its borders sign a document saying they did not support the war.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Helen Wright

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