Kaljulaid condemns informing of Estonian people via Russian channel PBK

President Kersti Kaljulaid visiting the snap exercise Okas (
President Kersti Kaljulaid visiting the snap exercise Okas ("Quill"). December 2017. Source: (Siim Verner Teder)

President Kersti Kaljulaid does not approve of Russian television channel Pervõi Baltiiskii Kanal (PBK) being used in Estonia to inform its residents.

"If we say that the television channel PBK is important to our state because we can reach our people via it, then what else does that mean? That we cannot manage to reach our people via our own channels!" Kaljulaid told daily Postimees (link in Estonian) in an end-of-year interview. "Then we need to work our own channels. Give that money to [the Russian-language] ETV+, then. I believe that Tallinn TV as a city television station should be closed down and join ETV+."

Regarding the influencing of public opinion, according to the Estonian president it is clear that it is in Russia's best interests to spread the opinion that Russia is not actually that bad.

"We have no reason to believe that Russia is not doing everything in its power to break up the unity of the EU," Kaljulaid said, adding that this was easiest to do by sowing the seeds of hesitation and doubt in the people. "You must have the courage to stand up against it if you suspect that the other side is influencing public opinion in its own favor."

The president added that Estonia's population of speakers of other languages is actually also interested in being able to receive information from Estonian channels.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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