Baltic: Russia declares Estonian PM, Baltic officials “wanted”

Russia has issued arrest warrants against Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Deutsche Welle reports. This is the first time that Russia has opened a criminal case against an acting foreign head of government. The Russian Interior Ministry’s full database of wanted people, which was leaked to independent Russian media outlet Mediazona, indicated that Kallas and several other Baltic officials were wanted under the Russian Criminal Code. The officials include Estonian state secretary Taimar Peterkop, 67 current or former members of the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, 15 members of the Riga City Council, Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys, Klaipeda mayor Arvydas Vaitkus, and 22 members of the Klaipeda and Vilnius city councils. A Russian security source told state-run TASS news agency that the officials were being prosecuted for the “destruction of and damage to monuments” to Soviet soldiers. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that the arrest warrants were “only the beginning,” The Moscow Times reported.