Russia adds Estonia Prime Minister to wanted list News
U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Russia adds Estonia Prime Minister to wanted list

Russia has put Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ wanted database, according to a report issued Tuesday by independent Russian media outlet Mediazona. This is the first time a foreign head of government has been added to the list.

Mediazona’s report was put together through analysis of several databases on the ministry’s website and shows that several high-ranking foreign officials are listed. According to Mediazona, there are 95,994 wanted individuals currently listed on the ministry’s website, meaning that they are suspects in criminal investigations. These include European politicians, Ukrainian military officials and soldiers, and now the Prime Minister of Estonia.

The Prime Minister responded by saying that the move by Russia was “nothing surprising.” Kallas has long been a critic of the Kremlin, and in 2022, she ordered the removal of Soviet-era war monuments from public spaces in Estonia to prevent the “tearing open of old wounds” after Russia invaded Ukraine. During her first visit to Ukraine in April 2023, as the head of the new Estonian government, she said, “We believe in Ukraine’s victory and we believe in Ukraine, which is a prosperous liberal democracy and a free market economy that belongs to the Euro-Atlantic family.”

In response to these latest developments, she said that it was “yet more proof that I am doing the right thing.” She went on to say that:

Throughout history, Russia has veiled its repressions behind so-called law enforcement agencies…The Kremlin now hopes this move will help to silence me and others – but it won’t. The opposite. I will continue my strong support to Ukraine. I will continue to stand for increasing Europe’s defence.