Member of the European Parliament Yana Toom (Center/ALDE) and Center Party MPs Olga Ivanova and Oudekki Loone sent an open letter to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas on Friday in which they condemned his comments on Ivanova and Loone’s behavior on May 9, when they participated in a celebration of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
“Don’t forget that you belong to the Center Party, the Center Party doesn’t belong to you,” the three pointed out in the letter, adding that as party members they had exactly the same right to express their opinions as the prime minister did.
“To us May 9 is a day that celebrates the end of the bloodiest and most tragic conflict in human history,” the statement read. “May 9, 1945 was the first day of peace after the capitulation of Nazi Germany. This is a day on which an inhuman regime met its end, when millions of families celebrated the end of the war and could now mourn their dead.”
Tens of thousands of Estonians, among them the prime minister’s fellow party members, honored their forbears “who achieved this victory at the price of their lives”, Toom, Ivanova, and Loone wrote, asking Ratas not lecture them standing “on their graves”.
Estonians and Russians’ path through history had been different, they continued. “But these different paths have brought us where we are today—to the Republic of Estonia, which became our common home, where it makes sense to respect and be considerate towards each other.” The prime minister’s role was to unite the people, not to divide them.
The government had more important things to do than to “continue this old war”, and Estonia a democratic country where the media were free and there was no issue that was to be treated in only one specific way.
The letter was published in Estonian and Russian and sent to Ratas on Friday afternoon.
Editor: Dario Cavegn