Right-Forward: Jana Toom must not go to European Parliament to represent Estonia

  • 2024-05-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The party of Right-Forward said in a statement on Tuesday that the unsuitability of Center Party candidate Jana Toom to become an Estonian member of the European Parliament became particularly evident on Monday, when her activities as an active supporter of the  Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate's (EOC-MP) subordination to the patriarchate of Moscow became public.

MEP Toom announced on Monday that she has found lawyers to represent the EOC-MP in the fight to preserve the influence of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Estonia. This religious body has repeatedly opposed Estonia's wish for it to sever its ties with the Moscow Patriarchate, Right-Forward said in a press release.

"The EOC-MP is directly subordinate to Patriarch Kirill, under whose leadership the Orthodox Church has become a dangerous tool of Russian imperialism, which, at every opportunity, has set itself in opposition to Western democracy and freedom in general," said Marti Aavik, a member of the Right-Forward.

Aavik said that Toom's support for pro-Kremlin forces doesn't come as a surprise, as she has previously financially assisted activists opposed to Estonian statehood. For example, last year she paid 1,646 euros towards the legal expenses of pro-Kremlin activist Zoja Paljamar, who sought to contest the revocation of her residence permit and deportation from Estonia. This year, we saw the same activist in Ivangorod, Russia, on May 9, supporting Great Russian chauvinism while wearing clothes with Soviet symbols.

According to Aavik, the Moscow Patriarchate, an organization under the dictator's control, whose aim is to strengthen the influence of the Kremlin, cynically exploits sincere believers against Estonia and the entire free world.

"Therefore, sincere believers should also consider whether they truly want to be associated with such a life-hating organization," he said.

Aavik argues that Estonia's Social Democrat interior minister, Lauri Laanemets, whose right and duty it is to immediately terminate the activities of a religious association that undermines public order and the rights and freedoms of others, has not done so to date, looking for ways to avoid doing his job.

"The 'pilgrimages' of Laanemets to the convent and meetings with local religious leaders, where the minister asked the church to decouple itself from the 'Russian world,' have not, as expected, produced any results. Unfortunately, there are no signs of the minister's desire to actually start doing his work and resolve this issue using the possibilities given to him by law," Aavik said.

Right-Forward are of the opinion that Toom's winning a new mandate in the European Parliament should be avoided at all costs in the interests of Estonia's statehood.

"We cannot be satisfied with a situation in which European politics is directed on our behalf by a person who so clearly sets herself in opposition to  Estonia's security interests," stressed Aavik.

The Right-Forward is an Estonian political party established in 2022 that has no seats in parliament.