Estonia: PM Kallas under pressure over husband’s business in Russia

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is under pressure after ERR revealed that Keila-based logistics company Stark Logistics, in which her husband, Arvo Hallik, owns nearly 25% of shares, has continued to do business in Russia. Stark Logistics has shipped metal containers manufactured by Tallinn-based Metaprint to Russia. The majority owner of both Metaprint and Stark Logistics is Estonian entrepreneur Martti Lemendik. Kallas insisted that she and her husband had done nothing wrong. Also, she stressed that Stark Logistics had stopped doing business in Russia. As prime minister, Kallas has demanded that all business with Russia be stopped.

Estonia’s President, Alar Karis, said that he expected Kallas to provide further explanations on the situation, BNS reports. Also, Jevgeni Ossinovski, board member of the Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE), demanded additional clarification as well. Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Estonia 200) suggested that the controversy could be solved through open discussion. SDE and Estonia 200 are coalition partners with Kallas’s Estonian Reform Party. Opposition MPs decried the apparent hypocrisy in Kallas’s conduct. Meanwhile, Estonia’s leading dailies, Eesti Päevaleht and Postimees, urged Kallas to resign, while the Õhtuleht tabloid called on her to apologise.