Estonian president to meet Putin
The Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid will travel to Moscow on 18 April for the inauguration of the restored Estonian embassy. While there she will also meet with Vladimir Putin. Is a rapprochement with Russia foolish or wise?
Short-sighted friendship policy
Estonia's friendship policy vis-à-vis Russia is a terrible mistake, political scientist Raimundas Lopata criticises in Delfi:
“It is questionable indeed whether countries like Estonia or Lithuania can benefit from a dialogue with Russia. Moscow has no understanding of the culture of dialogue, but only of the culture of force, sanctions and isolation. ... Russia's goal is to remove the occupation of Ukraine from the international agenda and to put the economic advantages of friendly relations with Russia in the forefront. ... Unfortunately supporters of a left-leaning, dialogue-oriented line are being treated as useful idiots. In the case of Estonia there will be no dialogue, but only a repetition of the prescribed Russian version - a game that in the end will only benefit the Kremlin.”
You must speak with neighbours - even crazy ones
Evelin Ilves, Estonia's former first lady and candidate for the Green Party in the European elections, counters with praise for Kersti Kaljulaid's decision to meet the Russian president in Eesti Päevaleht:
“What are we afraid of? Our self-confidence being knocked out of us? There is no love lost in Estonian-Russian relations, yet in Moscow President Kaljulaid will also meet indirectly with the Estonians who consider Putin their president. ... All three former presidents have met Putin. ... The simple truth is that hatred and silence don't help, even when your neighbour's raving mad. In clinging to our hatred we will only sink deeper into a poisonous swamp from which future generations will have a hard time extricating themselves.”