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Estonian defense chief urges president to reject Russia’s potential Victory Day invitation

Juri Luik, Estonia’s Minister of Defense, believes the country’s President Kersti Kaljulaid must not visit Moscow on May 9, should she receive such an invitation.

“I don’t recommend [accepting the invitation], especially considering the current situation,” the minister said in an interview with the Sakala newspaper Friday.

Luik pointed to recent statements by the Russian Foreign Ministry “about the continuity of Estonia’s history, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and on Poland and the Czech Republic.”

“In this context, attending the parade as an honored guest would send an entirely wrong signal as if we indirectly support Russia’s rhetoric,” the minister said.

On April 18, 2019, Kaljulaid visited Moscow to attend the opening ceremony of the renovated Estonian embassy. Later, Russian President Vladimir Putin met her at the Kremlin, and called the absence of contacts between the officials of the two nations abnormal. Kaljulaid invited Putin to visit Estonia in 2020.

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