Toom did not take the bait

Dozens of Western politicians are expected to join a so-called club of friends of annexed Crimea next week, including MEP Yana Toom (Center Party).

The International Club of Friends of Crimea should be created at a conference to be held in Yalta on November 2-3.

The event has been keeping the West’s diplomatic corps on the edge of its seat for some time. The Kremlin has been successful in wrapping Western politicians around its finger in the past. Now, three years since the annexation began, the largest such project is underway. Foreign intelligence circles believe the aim of the event is to gradually legitimate annexed Crimea in the eyes of the West.

Representative of the Russian president in Crimea Georgi Muradov makes no secret of the fact. “Friends of Crimea will direct the attention of international players to problems the peninsula is

facing; first and foremost [Western] sanctions and the actions of Ukraine. We are hoping for serious and long-term effect,” Muradov was optimistic.

Muradov already has several trump cards. The creation of the club is being promoted by former adviser to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, investor Jean-Pierre Thomas, while several European Parliament delegates, as well as Italian and Cypriot ruling politicians have promised to attend the event at the picturesque Livadia Palace. The Ukrainian embassy in Tallinn told Postimees that to the best of their knowledge Estonian MEP Yana Toom also plans to attend.

“I have been invited; however, I will leave for China on November 5, so I don’t really have an alternative,” Toom refuted claims.

The politician added that political context also rules out her going to Crimea. “I know full well that an event held in Crimea on November 7 – the anniversary of the October revolution – is not constructive,” she said.

“I would like to go to Crimea – I have relatives there. However, I will try to look for a politically correct way of getting there,” Toom added. She said that while she has attempted to travel to Crimea once through the Ukrainian embassy, her request was denied.

It is not difficult to imagine why the friends of Crimea need Toom. The politician is against the Schengen visa ban for residents of Crimea in the European Parliament – one of the restrictions the lifting of which Muradov wants to see.

Toom wrote to High Representative Federica Mogherini this summer, asking whether the visa ban was sensible. Toom said that she was motivated to do so by the difficult situation of two Estonian families living in Crimea. After the annexation of the region, Russia gave them Russian passports, while the European Union will not allow the families to travel to Estonia with those documents. “The question was whether an exception on humanitarian considerations has been weighed,” Toom explained.

She does not see her activities in the European Parliament as support for the friends of Crimea club. “Were I to travel to Crimea through Russia, it would be a clear sign. However, I do not see how asking Mogherini a question constitutes legitimation of the Crimea referendum.

Several members of the European Parliament have flirted with the authorities in Crimea in the past. Latvian MEP Tatyana Zdanoka visited the region in 2014 that earned her a critical letter from EP president at the time Martin Schultz. German MEP Marcus Pretzell visited Crimea in 2016 and later admitted Russia paid for his trip. MEP Laurentiu Rebega of Romania attended the Yalta Economic Forum this year.

Read more news of Tallinn on our site.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...