Estonia considers deporting individuals who seek to obtain Russian passports

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Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has confirmed that her government is exploring the possibility of deporting individuals in the country who choose to obtain Russian citizenship, Estonian publication Postimees reported on Dec. 1.

The revelation comes amid growing concerns about potential security threats and ties to Russia’s aggressive actions in the region.

Estonian Minister of Internal Affairs Lauri Laanemets had already signaled in early November the government’s intention to expel those expressing interest in acquiring Russian citizenship.

Read also: Russia likely using 'artificial' migration crisis as tool to destabilize West amid power struggle, says Finnis

Responding to a letter from Estonian MP Alexander Chaplygin, who questioned the legal basis for such actions, Kallas underscored that Russia, in attacking Ukraine, had breached all principles of international law.

The Parliament of Estonia and the Council of Europe have acknowledged Russia as a state supporting terrorism.

“For example, the Russian Federation conducted attacks on Baltic countries during military exercises, consistently expressed hostile and false narratives about Western countries through official channels, and recently resumed organizing the illegal entry of migrants into the European Union,” said Kallas.

Read also: Sweden backs Finland in securing EU’s external border to combat illegal migration from Russia

“This is a threat to the security of the Republic of Estonia and a clear signal that the Estonian state cannot ignore,” she said.

Kallas said that each case would be meticulously reviewed by the Police and Border Guard Board to assess the perceived danger posed by the individual.

She also raised the possibility of investigating whether obtaining Russian citizenship could be considered support for terrorism and an activity direceted against Estonia and its allies.

Read also: Estonia to allow confiscation of frozen Russian assets, Kyiv says

“In a situation where obtaining Russian citizenship is a clear signal of support for terrorism and actions against Estonia and our allies, it is undoubtedly necessary to consider the suitability of such an individual to live in a democratic country that upholds human rights,” Kallas added.

Confirming the government’s official position, Kallas reiterated Laanemets’ stance on seeking deportation methods for those pursuing Russian citizenship.

The closure of Estonia’s border with Russia is not ruled out, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna on Nov. 29.

Finland announced the closure of four border crossings along the eastern border with Russia earlier, on Nov. 6. The restrictions will be in place until Feb. 18, 2024, but may be extended if necessary.

Norway's Minister of Justice, Emilie Enger Mehl, expressed support for Finland's decision, and the next day, Estonia made a similar announcement. Several Finnish border crossings were closed on Nov. 22, leaving only one open.

On Nov. 28, Finland announced the closure of the last crossing on the border with Russia from Nov. 30 to Dec. 13, 2023.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine