Russia launched a search warrant against Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallasone of the strongest voices within the European Union (EU) and NATO in favor of the supply of weapons to Ukraine and the tightening of sanctions against Moscow.
According to a news item published this Tuesday on the Ministry of the Interior website, in a new gesture that reflects the tensions with the Baltic countries since the Kremlin's attack on Ukraine, Kallas – 46 years old and in office since 2021 – “is wanted under an article of the penal code.” It does not specify what crime or offense she is accused of.
However, a Russian security source – cited by the state news agency TASS – stated that both the Estonian Secretary of State, Taimar Peterkop, and the Lithuanian Minister of Culture, Simonas Kairys, are also the subject of a search warrant. They are accused of “destruction and degradation of monuments (in memory) to Soviet soldiers” of World War II. And that same charge would fall against Kalllas.
Several of these monuments, a legacy of the USSR after the Second World War, were dismantled in recent years in the Baltic countries, as a rejection of the Soviet period.
Currently, a Russian minority resides in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, three former Soviet republics that are currently members of the European Union and NATO and that maintain tense relations with Moscow.
Kaja Kallas, a headache for Putin
Kaja Kallas spoke out against Putin's measures on more than one occasion. Photo: AP
In January 2021, Kallas became the first woman to head the Government of the Baltic country, a position she renewed when her party won the legislative elections held in March of last year. She is one of the European leaders who demands the most harshness against Moscow.
Two weeks ago, he issued a letter together with his counterparts from Germany, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, in which they asked “a collective effort” of the countries of the European Union to arm Ukraine.
The leaders begin the letter published in the Financial Times (FT) by pointing out that, faced with the ravages of winter, “brave Ukrainian soldiers endure intense and relentless Russian attacks without any indication that the war will end soon.”
However, they warn of the existence of “crucial problems”, among which they highlight that that country does not have enough ammunition and that military support commitments risk falling short of Ukraine's needs.
The letter recalls that the European Union (EU) committed to providing that country with one million pieces of ammunition before the end of March 2024 and regrets that this objective has not been met.
“But we cannot simply abandon our promise. If Ukrainian soldiers are to continue fighting, the need for ammunition is overwhelming,” Kallas and his peers believe. They insisted that ways must be found to speed up deliveries of promised artillery to Ukraine.
“If Ukraine loses, the consequences and costs in the long term will be much higher for all of us. We Europeans have a special responsibility. Therefore, we must act. The future of Europe depends on it,” they concluded.