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Reinsalu: Kross OK to be minister

Eerik-Niiles Kross ja Urmas Reinsalu kohalike valimiste eel. PHOTO: Peeter Langovits / Postimees

Urmas Reinsalu, chairman of IRL and defence minister of Estonia, refuted the claim published yesterday by Eesti Päevaleht regarding his adviser Eerik-Niiles Kross not running for party chairman because of pressure by him. As claimed by the newspaper, Mr Kross could not fill a ministerial post, Mr Reinsalu having promised USA that his adviser would never get state secrets licence.

«I explicitly reject that claim. Eerik-Niiles Kross is running for deputy chairman of IRL and is member of my team. He has no obstacles whatsoever to enter political offices,» said Mr Reinsalu. «Members of Riigikogu and, thereby, ministerial portfolios are determined by the Estonian people, on Election Day. State secret licences are issued, in Estonia, by Internal Security Service, as guided by law and not by speculations.»

As claimed by Mr Kross, he has no reason to assume he would be denied state secrets licence should he apply for it. «I don’t know from where they conclude that I won’t be given it, as I have not asked for it. I have no reason to think I would not be given it, should I apply for it,» said Mr Kross, with reference to the Eesti Päevaleht article.

According to Mr Kross, he could not imagine how US diplomats could hinder issuance of Republic of Estonia’s state secrets licence. «Pursuant to State Secrets Act, there are basis for refusal of said licence. I have no basis as listed in the Act,» he added.

Not running for IRL chairman is explained, by Mr Kross, by lack of such ambition. «I do run for an IRL deputy chairman. That’s the position I’d like get,» said Mr Kross. Even so, he did not exclude running for IRL chairman in the future.