Chairman of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme said that Estonia must support the United States and not the European Union's stance when it comes to questions concerning sanctions against Russia.
Helme believes that the Estonian government's decision to support the EU on matters concerning sanctions against Russia damages the country's relations with Estonia's primary guarantor of security — the United States — spokespeople for EKRE said.
"The U.S.' recent decision to impose additional sanctions against Russia and the EU's opposition to them definitely leave Estonia at a fork in the road," Helme acknowledged. "But we need to acknowledge that when it comes to security policy, Estonia first and foremost depends on the U.S., not the EU, which is incapable in the military capacity and secondary in the eyes of Russia."
According to the opposition party leader, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Center) confirmation that Estonia agrees with the stances of the EU concerning the sanctions imposed against Russia and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline demonstrates that the Estonian government has begun supporting European cynics. "The Kremlin will definitely approve of this choice," Helme said, adding that Europe has always been characterized by duplicity. "In words, Europe appreciates value-based politics; in actions — gain."
Helme said that by supporting the views of the EU, Estonia will suffer the most security policy damage in Europe. "Unlike Lithuania, where the government has begun forcefully supporting the views of the U.S.," he added. "Estonia must also take into consideration historical experience — larger European countries have always forfeited the Baltic state to Russia, if it is to their benefit in connection to their relations with Russia."
The EKRE leader said that there can be no double standards when it comes to sanctions against Russia, especially if the U.S.' support of Estonia is dependent upon it. "We must acknowledge that the linchpin of Estonia and the other Baltics' independence is the consensus achieved between Washington and Moscow in 1991, the guarantor on the Western side of which is the U.S., not the EU," he stressed. "If the U.S. removes from us its protective hand, we will be faced with only bad or very bad choices when it comes to relations with Russia."
Editor: Aili Vahtla