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Business News/ News / World/  Russia declares Estonian PM Kaja Kallas ‘wanted’ without disclosing criminal charges
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Russia declares Estonian PM Kaja Kallas ‘wanted’ without disclosing criminal charges

Russian interior ministry’s database of wanted people showed Kaja Kallas as ‘wanted under the Criminal Code’ without naming the charges, said media reports

Estonia Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. (AFP)Premium
Estonia Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. (AFP)

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.

Russia will likely leverage its advantage in ammunition stockpiles this year and could occupy more Ukrainian territory if crucial aid isn’t delivered to Kyiv, said a report by Bloomberg citing Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service report. 

“If Western aid diminishes significantly in the coming years, Russia will be more likely to gradually occupy large Ukrainian territories with a massive, unskilled force, imposing unfavourable peace terms on Ukraine," the Estonian agency said.

Russia has about three to four times more artillery than Ukrainian forces after boosting its ammunition production to as many as 4 million units last year, up from 600,000 rounds in 2022, it added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 13 Feb 2024, 02:59 PM IST
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