TALLINN - Public relations firm R & R Suhtekorraldus has sued the Estonian Green Party over the party's alleged failure to live up to a contractual agreement.
The company is demanding 225,157 kroons (14,390 euros) for unpaid services, overdue charges and fines after the party's unilateral withdrawal from the contract.
"I think in economic relationships it's ordinary that [when there are disagreements], one must go to court," said Marek Strandberg, founder of the Estonian Green Party.
Ivo Rull, manager of R & R Suhtekorraldus, explained that there were two phases in the relationship between the PR firm and the party. The first stretched from the creation of the party to the last parliamentary elections, which ended with six seats for the party.
The second contract began in January and ended June 10. The contract was supposed to end after local elections in 2009.
"In my opinion, the way in which the contract was ended 's [with] these pretexts and accusations 's was baseless and contrary with the contract, laws and good behavior," Rull said.
He added that all the party's complaints came after the contract was ended. A letter the party sent to the PR company alleged some violations on the part of the firm, but when Rull asked party officials to be more specific, they did not respond. Several weeks later the party issued further allegations and pretexts for withdrawal, Rull said.
"The whole process has been extremely weird," Rull said .
"All summer, there was from my side constant reminding that it is necessary to fulfill the contracts and duties coming from it. They brought forth all kinds of odd pretensions and accusations [on which] I cannot comment, because of the lawsuit," Rull added.
He said that his company has offered out-of-court solutions, but the Green Party has not shown any interest.
"I have promised not to discuss that topic in the press at all. If our former partner found that they want to argue in court, then we will do it there. It's not a political question that should be autopsied in public," said Strandberg.
It's the PR firm's first time suing a client since Rull started the company 11 years ago. "And I do it with a really heavy heart, because I think green views and green thinking should be strongly represented in Estonia," Rull said .
He said if they win in court, they will donate a sizable portion of the award to the green activism group Teeme Ara.
"According to my experience, a PR officer is never simply writing anything, or simply speaking in public 's he has a purpose. Always. And that's why I don't have anything else to say except we will discuss these topics in court," Strandberg said.