Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) confirmed on Sunday that he will attend a meeting of the G20's IT ministers in Tokyo on June 7. He will be traveling to Japan in the place of his own IT minister, EKRE's Kert Kingo, who has announced that she will travel "only in extremely urgent cases."
Kingo stressed that the invitation to the meeting was extended to Estonia, not to Kingo specifically. The prime minister confirmed to ERR on Sunday that he will fly to Japan himself to introduce Estonia's e-governance success story to the ministers present.
The current coalition government's most recent appointment, Kingo doesn't speak English and has announced that she won't travel as much as her predecessors. She has said that she will only speak Estonian when on foreign visits, that she thinks this should be the rule for Estonian ministers in general, and that she will communicate with her counterparts through an interpreter. She further said that she would travel only "in extremely urgent cases."
Kingo's first such trip is scheduled for next week, when she is expected at a ministerial-level meeting in Ottawa, Canada on Wednesday.
The minister has already faced sharp criticism over her announcement not to travel. EKRE's choice of Kingo for minister of trade and IT has also been criticized, with former minister of foreign affairs and MEP Urmas Paet (Reform) stating that like this, the position is "utterly pointless, if not damaging."
Kingo's portfolio was created expressly to help Estonian businesses gain access to markets abroad, and the key to success in this case lies in the minister's communication skills, Paet added.
Editor: Dario Cavegn