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08.04.2017 - 12: 13

Estonia changes the approach to Russian

Saturday will be the first ever visit of the Estonian Prime Minister in Russia: St. Petersburg comes Jüri Ratas. And it comes at a time when the Baltic politicians try to totally boycott Russia. Ratas previously challenged the institution of "non-citizens" and stood up for the rights of Russian-speaking. Is Russophobian period of Estonian Life comes to an end?

The current Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas can be considered one of the most prominent politicians of Baltic. Relatively young (of 38 years) people managed to make a spectacular career and rose to the highest level, the issue has long been a taboo for the local officialdom - the elimination of the shameful institution "non-citizens" and to respect the rights of Russian speakers.

However, his visit to Russia in its history - for all time of the bilateral relations, Estonian premieres (namely Prime in Estonia is the de facto head of state - a parliamentary republic) never visited the Russian Federation. Estonian oppositionoutraged and nowSaying, well, that did not attend, even if this goes on, because in the background of the current confrontation between Russia and the West Ratas visit simply out of place.

Indeed, the current mainstream of the Baltic is the rejection of any contact with the Russian Federation - in the style of "my legs will not be there." Another thing is that no official meetings during the visit Ratas not planned. It is timed to the centennial of Estonians demonstrations in Petrograd in favor of autonomy and is accompanied by a ritual event like the opening of a memorial plaque of thanks and worship under the Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

So who is he - Jüri Ratas? Politician, revolutionary, designed to break the anti-Russian Estonian practice, or a cunning tactician, using the Russian "face-down"?

Instead of "rhinoceros"

Round education native of Tallinn Jüri Ratas (current Prime is a Master of Economics and Bachelor of Law) is highly promoted his career. In November 2005-27 of the age, he became mayor of Tallinn, and held this position until March 2007-th. Also Ratas twice appointed to the post of vice-mayor of the Estonian capital, for the first time - in 24 years.

Thus Ratas linked his fate a specific political force as the Center Party. It was founded by one of the "fathers" of the post-Soviet state of Estonia Edgar Savisaar, get behind the intransigence of the character nicknamed "Rhino". Unlike many other politicians of the country, Savisaar was never a nationalist and liberal enough concerns to the Russian population. He's still going counter to the mainstream, it advocates the need to normalize relations with Russia. That is why the Russian community in Estonia (by the way, in the country to aliens, in contrast to neighboring Latvia are allowed to vote in municipal elections), for lack of better options, for the most part supported and supports it, "centrists."

Savisaar by virtue of their charisma and toughness has long been considered among the Estonian ruling elite "uncomfortable" person for many years attempted to oust him from politics. In the 2015, the "Iron Edgar" just underwent a severe illness, lishivshuyu his feet, removed from merstva in Tallinn erected in connection with corruption charges against him. By the time the "centrists" have long sat in opposition. They hinted that the places in the Cabinet should not even dream of, as long as they do not get rid of "rhinoceros". Naturally, the situation could not satisfy many members of this strong and large parties - Savisaar started perceived anchor pulling "centrists" on the bottom. As a substitute he began to promote it Ratas - also quite charismatic, much younger, and most importantly, do not cause rejection in the other Party's policy.

The first attempt to intercept the power Ratas with his support team has taken a few years ago, when the "centrists" passed the next elections of the head of the party. Then the young ambitious politician lost, but its position is not shaken. Moreover, Ratas entrusted the post of vice-speaker of the Riigikogu (Parliament). A new attempt to topple Savisaar was made at the congress at the end of the year 2015. "Rhinoceros" again resisted, but the victory was not easy to him - his then-rival Kadri Simson, who heads the parliamentary faction of "centrists", he was ahead by only 55 votes.

Events, Ratas ascended to the heights of power, turned the fall of last year. It began with the fact that "centrists" finally got rid of Savisaar. To be precise, "Rhinoceros" he refused to stand as a candidate at the next re-election, because he understood that the degree of its impact on the party members has plummeted. By the time colleagues have already openly called "iron Edgar" written off player burden. "Edgar in the political sense, no one" - said in September, a board member of "centrists" Mailis Reps, promising that soon the Center Party will become an influential political force, and will no longer be isolated.

In October, the then Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform Party) announced the conditions under which the Center Party would join the government.

Without the "United Russia"

According to the requirements Taavi Rõivas to once again become "rukopozhatnymi", "centrists" should exclude from their ranks Edgar Savisaar and MEP Jan Toom (it is considered to be too "pro-Russian"), to abandon the "deep-rooted addiction to corruption" and take a sharply critical of Russia following the example of the rest of the Estonian parties. The Premier added that the current coalition is quite efficient and will continue until the next parliamentary elections in 2019 year, but - amazing blindness! - coalition collapsed after a few weeks, and the place itself Taavi Rõivas government took "centrist" Jüri Ratas.

At the Congress Center Party Ratas he received 654 voice, his rival Yana Toom just 348. Just a few days "centrists" nationalist "Homeland Union and Res Publica" and the Social Democratic Party of Estonia reported the start of negotiations on forming a new coalition government. Parliamentary vote of no-confidence Taavi Rõivas, refused to resign voluntarily gave 63 votes "for" 28 against, no abstentions. In people, this event was met with approval: the rating "baby Premiere" (Taavi Rõivas Estonia was the youngest prime minister in its history) was very low. In this case, the new government immediately hastened to reassure its Western partners the assurance that they are not going to change anything in the foreign policy.

When the president of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid instructed to form a new government Ratas, it is in every way emphasized that his office would not "pro-Russian". "The spread of such rumors - low and petty act is dictated by personal bitter discontent which casts a shadow over the whole country. I very much hope that harming the reputation of Estonia at the international level statements were not included in the foreign media due to local politicians. That would be an extreme manifestation of disrespect and neglect towards their country and its people ", - was indignant Ratas. During the hearings in Parliament, he also said that "Crimea was occupied by Russia," and the agreement that exists at the "Centrists" with the party "United Russia", has long been frozen and it does not matter. Subsequently, he has repeatedly expressed support for Kiev, he stressed full loyalty to NATO and advocated the preservation of the sanctions regime.

Nevertheless, many steps "centrist" after they found themselves at the head of the government, look for Estonia, if not revolutionary, it is enough unexpected.

Vote for Russian

Entrenched at the head of the Cabinet, Ratas raised the issue of non-citizens. "All the inhabitants of the country are important for our party - regardless of whether they speak in Russian or Estonian. I know very well that there is a problem concerning nationality:. A lot of people in Estonia, the so-called "gray passports" We believe the abnormal situation, when the inhabitants of the country do not have citizenship. One of the points of our program says that all the people who have lived here for more than twenty-five years, should have an Estonian passport. But we all know that now in the coalition includes three partners, and this is not possible right now. This can be a particular aim in the next parliamentary elections(in 2019 year - LOOK). But now, with the new coalition, we do small steps. For example, in a family where the parents have different documents - the "gray passport" or license of another state - children can get an Estonian passport, "-He pledgedPrime.

And there have been advances in the persecution of the Russian language, albeit minimal. So the Riigikogu, in spite of the resistance of the nationalists adopted in the third reading the legislative amendments that have simplified the possibility of Russian-speaking legal assistance: now the application, written in Russian, do not come back - they translate court and translation expenses the plaintiff in this case does not carry. In parallel, pharmacies became available information in Russian about the preparations, the use of which does not require special prescriptions. In addition, the coalition promised concessions on the issue of Russian schools.

You can consider it a trifle, but the progress is obvious: the new government albeit slowly, but "spins nut" in relation to the Russian-speaking. And even it does not matter what kind of motives prompted Ratas to such actions: the country is talking about the need for "social cohesion" in the face of a "hybrid of aggression" in Russia. Political analyst Maxim Reva told the newspaper VIEW, which is inclined to see in this the influence of Washington:

"For Americans, the nationalist rhetoric of the Baltic elites, shall we say, poorly understood. For them, it does not matter the nationality of the - most importantly, the effectiveness of an object and its degree of loyalty. And the Americans, entering troops in the region are fully aware of how the threat from internal nationalist policy in the Baltic States, and its detrimental impact on the safety and these countries, both NATO and the United States itself. "

Recently Ratas even started the page in the social network Facebookin Russian- for the head of the Estonian government until recently seemed unthinkable such an act, and in Latvia for such politiciansgenerally fine. However, the Russian-speaking Estonians themselves are advised not to have illusions about Ratas. "I consider him a moderate politician who tries to avoid harsh statements. All his performances are always cautious, weighed and thought out. On the one hand it is fine. But, on the other hand, expect him to revolutionary solutions in the field of restoration of the rights of the Russian community in Estonia yet, in my opinion, it makes no sense, "- said the newspaper LOOK, a member of the NGO" Russian Estonian School Council. "

And here is the opinion of political commentator Aleksandra Nosovicha, assume that for Russian-Estonian relations office Jüri Ratas -. It is the "government expected misguided expectations" He draws parallels between Ratas with other politicians from the Baltic states, which for some reason are considered "pro-Russian" - the mayor of Riga and leader of the party "Consent" (which, as the "centrists", largely rests on Russian voices, and for many years in opposition ) Nil Ushakov. "In Estonia, for many years I wondered what would happen if the" pro-Russian "Center Party will enter the ruling coalition and the government. And correctly forecast turned out to be realists, who from the beginning said that it would not be - because for the sake of joining the government "centrists" will donate all the points of his political program, because of which voted for them Russian-speaking electorate. And so it happened. The government has become less nationalistic fervor, but Estonia's national policy remains unchanged, the nationality policy remained unchanged, foreign policy - unchanged. Tallinn port like losing, and losing cargo, dairy farms go bankrupt and so on. I would venture to suggest that in Latvia in the case of joining the government party "Consent", will be the same, "- said Nosovich VIEW newspaper.

In fairness it should be noted that Ratas, of course, can not abolish the institution of "non-citizens" in Estonia the sole solution. And the mere fact that the intention to give citizenship "seropasportnikam" should be considered a step in the right direction. But on the warming of relations between Russia and Estonia at Ratas expect it would be naive: the current prime minister can not be called "anti-Russian", but "anti-Russian" it certainly is.

A source: LOOK

Author: Ilya Belkin

Tags: Estonia, Politics, Baltic States, Russia, Analytics