According to President Kersti Kaljulaid, what is important isn't how many people are watching Russian-language news and programs, but rather that Estonia's Russian-language population knows that if they need objective information, they can find it via Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).
During a recent interview with ERR's Anu Välba, Kaljulaid said that neither the Estonian state nor the city of Tallinn should be purchasing programming from or paying for advertising on Russian propaganda channels such as PBK. She did not believe, however, that local Russian-speaking residents' socio-economic status was what creates favorable conditions in Estonia for PBK and other Russian TV channels.
"We can hear very pro-Estonian views in Russian and very pro-Russian views in Estonian — language certainly doesn't indicate anything," Kaljulaid noted. "What is actually important is that people know that Estonian Public Broadcasting is the place where they can find trustworthy information. You must keep this up here at ERR. It isn't that important how many people are watching Estonian- or Russian-language news every night; what's important is how large a part of society believes that, if for some reason they need very objective information, they know that they can get this from ERR. And this is truly the most important thing, that we are also at the forefront of what can be called the propaganda war."
President Kaljulaid's full interview with Anu Välba will air on ETV at 8:10 p.m. on Saturday.
Editor: Aili Vahtla