Savisaar: Estonia must learn to deal with Putin

26.09.2011, 17:00

Centre Party chairman and Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar says that he was not surprised to learn that Vladimir Putin was put forward as candidate for the next president of Russia.

“Estonia must learn to deal with Putin,” said Savisaar, speaking from Moscow where he attended the congress of United Russia.

“Russia is Estonia’s neighbour and it has been clear for some time that Putin is the No. 1 man in Russia,” said Savisaar.

At the congress, current president Dmitri Medvedev proposed Putin for the president, while Putin offered him the job of the prime minister. ERR

Marko Mihkelson who is chairman of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs says that if Putin were to be elected the next president of Russia, it would change little in its foreign policy towards Estonia.

When asked what Putin’s presidency could mean for Estonia, Mihkelson said: “For Estonia, little. I don’t see that there could be major changes in Russia’s foreign policy. But what can be assumed is that Moscow will be attempting to increase its influence especially within the CIS framework. But one worrying aspect is that Putin is seeing army as the backbone for modernising Russia. “But it is equally clear that in the next decade Russian leaders will be facing considerably bigger challenges at home than in foreign policy,” he concluded.