Members of Estonia’s government accused neighboring Russia of interfering in local politics after a candidate for mayor of the capital, Tallinn, was placed on Interpol’s wanted list on the eve of municipal elections.
Eerik-Niiles Kross, 46, of the junior coalition party Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit, is sought by Russia on charges of organizing piracy, according to Interpol’s website. Authorities in the former Soviet republic plan to file a protest with Interpol on the grounds that Russia’s actions are politically motivated, Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher, also of Isamaa, told Estonian public broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringhaeaeling Oct. 19. Preliminary vote results yesterday showed Kross failed to unseat incumbent Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar.
Disputes over the Baltic country’s treatment of its Russian-speaking minority have strained ties with Russia since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Relations improved this year after hitting a low in 2007 over the relocation of a Soviet statue in Tallinn. Russian President Vladimir Putin this month approved a draft border treaty with Estonia.