Russia declares Estonian PM Kaja Kallas ‘wanted’ without disclosing criminal charges

Russia on Tuesday declared Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas a “wanted” person over an undisclosed criminal case, said media reports.

The Russian interior ministry’s database of wanted people showed Kallas as “wanted under the Criminal Code” without naming the charges, said the reports.

Kallas has led Estonia since 2021.

The interior ministry has also put Estonian state secretary Taimar Peterkop and Lithuanian culture minister Simonas Kairys on the wanted list.

They were accused of “destroying monuments to Soviet soldiers”, according to Russian news agency TASS citing a source.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Kaja Kallas had been put on a wanted list for hostile actions against Russia and the “desecration of historical memory”. 

Kaja Kallas has been a strong supporter of Ukraine. She has been spearheading efforts to increase military assistance to Kyiv and tighten sanctions against Russia.

The Estonian prime minister has also angered Russia by pushing for the removal of monuments to Soviet World War II soldiers.

Russia has laws criminalizing the “rehabilitation of Nazis” that include clauses punishing the desecration of war memorials.

It is the first time Russia has put a foreign leader’s name on a wanted list.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 13 Feb 2024, 02:59 PM IST

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