Estonia: diplomats in difficulties?
Matti Maasikas, a leading Estonian diplomat and the country's new ambassador to Ukraine, questioned the foreign policy stance of the new government in Tallinn on Twitter last week and pointed out that Estonian diplomats were having difficulties explaining the policies of the conservative-far-right coalition government. His comments have elicited vicious attacks from the far right but Estonian media come to his defence.
The government must hold its tongue
Former diplomat Jaak Jõerüüt comes to his colleague's defence in Postimees:
“I worked in the Foreign Service for more than 20 years - mostly as ambassador. So I know very well what sort of questions diplomats are asked. Those doing the asking - politicians, civil servants, journalists, analysts, business people, investors - are anything but dumb and won't be satisfied with lies. ... For some time now our diplomats have no longer been able to turn the statements of certain members of government - sordid, coarse and below the level of intelligent politics - into an acceptable form. The blame for the fact that this situation harms the state doesn't lie with the civil servants, but with the government's careless choice of words.”
What counts is reliability
Estonia should avoid alienating its international partners at all costs, warns Kaarel Tarand, editor-in-chief of Sirp:
“Estonia's position on the international stage and its influence have little to do with who says what to the international press or who calls for whose resignation. What counts is with whom one seeks solutions in the decision-making bodies and what button one presses in votes. What counts is whether your friends understand you and can rely on your consistent support on fundamental questions.”