The Estonian American National Council: We are dismayed by EKRE ministers’ comments

The Estonian American National Council (EANC), a representative organisation of the Estonian community in the United States, issued a strong statement on 10 November in which they question of whose interests are the Estonian Conservative People’s Party leaders, Mart and Martin Helme, furthering; Estonian World publishes the statement in full.

The world has watched with great interest the unfolding of the election results for the American president. It is now widely accepted that the next president of the United States will be Joseph R. Biden.

The elections were conducted in legal, fair and transparent fashion. Although the results have been disputed in court, no case has succeeded and the finding is the same – there was no fraud.

EANC was dismayed to hear of the 8 November opinions of Estonia’s Minister of the Interior, Mart Helme, and Minister of Finance, Martin Helme, leaders of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, EKRE, which defame not only the US elections as rigged and fraudulent, but also our next president, who just received a marked majority of the people’s vote. Leading US news outlets and election officials have already refuted similar baseless charges.

The actions of Mart and Martin Helme make the work of EANC in advocating for Estonia and its interests much more difficult. We now need to explain why the new US government should support Estonia and whether future cooperation is still possible and necessary. Reports of these events in Estonia have already reached North America, including the American press.

Many leading politicians in Estonia, among them the president, Kersti Kaljulaid, have deplored the positions of both ministers. The quick removal of the Minister of the Interior is a positive step. However, the Minister of Finance is still in place and as such is a representative of the government. Only the Estonian government can decide how to resolve this crisis, so that future relations with the US are not harmed.

The situation begs the question, of whose interests are the EKRE leaders furthering? It is quite apparent that it is neither Estonia nor the United States. Further, the false accusations can also put into jeopardy the high international reputation that Estonia and the Estonian people have enjoyed to date.

The Estonian American National Council represents persons of Estonian descent living in America. From the founding of our organisation in 1952, we fought for Estonia – first for regaining its independence, then for keeping it. We have consistently stood for the interests of Estonia before the US Congress and the administration – to protect Estonian security, to support its accession to NATO, to emphasise the importance of the Baltic region to the US, and to further cooperation between Estonia and the United States.

The EANC sincerely hopes that Estonia, reaffirming its democratic values, moves forward to strengthen its relationship with the United States.

Read also: Former leaders: The responsibility for ensuring Estonian national security lies with the prime minister.

Cover: Martin Helme (left) and Mart Helme (right) at EKRE’s party congress in 2020. Photo by EKRE’s official Facebook page.

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