SDE leader: Estonian Center Party must genuinely terminate agreement with United Russia

  • 2022-02-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The chairman of the opposition Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE), Lauri Laanemets, says that the Center Party must publicly and unambiguously terminate  the agreement its has with the Kremlin-backed United Russia party of Russia.

The leader of SDE said that the chairman of Center, speaker of the parliament Juri Ratas, and head of the party's parliamentary group Jaanus Karilaid must cancel the agreement. Otherwise, the foreign affairs portfolio in the Cabinet must be taken away from the Center Party.

"If the Center Party does not publicly renounce this agreement immediately, it will be up to the Reform Party and Kaja Kallas to demand this from their coalition partner in the most categorical form. The foreign minister of Estonia cannot come from a political party that has a cooperation agreement with the ruling party of the Russian Federation, which is carrying out aggression in Ukraine," Laanemets said.

He pointed out that the leaders of the so-called "people's republics" of Luhansk and Donetsk are not only puppets of the Kremlin, but they are both members of United Russia.

"They are therefore cooperation partners of the Center Party. Is this really not enough to make Ratas and Karilaid take action and genuinely terminate the agreement?"

"It is hard to believe that the leaders of the Reform Party accept that removing the text of the agreement from the Center Party's website renders the agreement non-existent," the SDE leader said.

According to Laanemets, the Center Party must also publicly inform its cooperation partner that the cooperation agreement is invalid.

"For years, the Center Party has stuck to its agreement with United Russia because it has been good for it. The propaganda channels of the Russian Federation have consistently supported Center Party politicians, given them airtime and praised them to the skies. This was last done before the local elections. In addition, Russia has organized high-level visits to Syria for Center Party politicians," Laanemets said.

"If Ratas does not take decisive action, I cannot imagine how he could be re-elected as the president of the Riigikogu," he added.