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Lipponen criticises Estonia's Russia policy

Former Speaker's comments spark sharp reactions

Lipponen criticises Estonia's Russia policy Paavo Lipponen
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Former Speaker of Parliament Paavo Lipponen sparked intense controversy in Estonia during the weekend with his open criticism of Estonia's policy toward Russia.
      In an interview with Estonian television, Lipponen questioned the wisdom of Estonian security cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine if it hurts relations with Russia.
In the interview, Lipponen suggested that there is no realism in security cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine, and said that he does not feel that such cooperation should be implemented in a way that it makes relations with Russia more difficult.
      Lipponen was in the Estonian capital Tallinn taking part in a seminar of the International Defence Research Centre.
      Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament, wrote in his blog that Lipponen's comments amount to a denunciation of Estonia's foreign policy.
      "The former leader of Finland's Social Democrats gets to say, in practice, that Estonia's foreign policy is worth nothing", Mihkelson writes.
      "He should know that good relations with Russia do not come about on the basis of the wishes of one side", he continues.
The director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, Andres Kasekamp, noted that Georgia and Ukraine share some of Estonia's misfortunes, and that Estonia cannot be indifferent to them. He said that Lipponen's views are typical of Finnish foreign policy thinking.

Helsingin Sanomat

  27.11.2007 - TODAY
 Lipponen criticises Estonia's Russia policy

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