Hands off Estonia, Moscow!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 23:32 | Posted in Estonia, eu, russia, Sweden | Leave a comment

EU is finally reacting to the Russian interference in internal affairs of Estonia. Prompted by attacks against the Estonian embassy in Moscow and a serious attempt to assault the Estonian ambassador in Russia, Ms. Marina Kaljurand, the EU commission is raising concerns. According to the BBC:

Following the disturbances, the European Union said it would send a delegation to raise concerns with Russia over the increasing violence.

A European Commission spokeswoman said the EU “strongly urged” the Russian authorities to implement their obligations under the Vienna Convention for diplomatic relations.

Not only Estonian diplomats have been attacked. The Swedish ambassador’s car was attacked by a mob when ambassador Johan Molander was visiting the Estonian embassy. The violent acts against EU diplomats were reportedly committed by members of Kremlin backed youth organizations.

According to AFP, a Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in Stockholm:

“The ambassador’s car was stopped and attacked by a mob as he was leaving the Estonian embassy. They kicked the car and tore off the Swedish flag. The ambassador was not injured but the atmosphere was very aggressive,” ministry spokeswoman Sofia Karlberg told AFP.

State secretary for foreign affairs Frank Belfrage sent a “strong verbal protest” to the Russian embassy in Stockholm, and the Russian ambassador was been summoned to the ministry for a meeting later Wednesday.

The recent Russian attacks against Estonia must be regarded as attacks against the EU. The commission and other member countries must display solidarity to Estonia. Start behaving, Moscow! Hands off Estonia!

Edit: The Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht publishes a full English translation of a speach by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip in the Estonian Parliament on Wednesday. Another Estonian daily, Postimees, is not accessible from outside Estonia due to the Russian orchestrated cyber attacks against Estonian web sites.

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