Su, 1.10.2023

Estonian PM says her husband has not acted unethically

Photo: Eero Vabamägi

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at the government's press briefing on Thursday that, in her opinion, her husband has done nothing unethical in the context of business related to Russia.

«I've always tried to keep my work and family life separate, but now they have come together, or rather, a question has arisen about the activities of my husband's business partner. But let's take a look at this story. The truth is that I am married, happily married, to Arvo Hallik. However, I do not have any insight into his business activities,» Kallas said.

«It is also true that my husband has a minority stake in a logistics company. That was all the information I had on the subject until the beginning of this week. When the media turned to me with questions, of course, I also asked my husband these questions. As he said, one of the company's business lines before the war was also the provision of logistics services in Russia, which was discontinued back in March 2022 due to the start of the hostilities,» the premier explained.

«As my husband has confirmed, they are providing the service to only one Estonian company, and this project, too, is in the phase of discontinuation. Thus, this company has not violated the sanctions imposed on Russia, nor the unwritten rules,» said Kallas.

«According to my husband, they even have a rule in-house that when they do this haulage, they are not even allowed to fill up with fuel in Russia, so that not a single euro, dollar or ruble is left in Russia,» Kallas said.

She said that she could not be asked about the business decisions of these private companies.

«I'm not personally involved in the work of these companies. What you can ask me, however, is about the ethicality of the actions of these companies. I remain of the view that all business with Russia must stop as long as the Russian aggression in Ukraine continues. And as far as I know, that's what my husband did a month after the war started,» said Kallas.

«I've said before, and I stand by it, that our companies should find their moral compass and refuse deals that would somehow help the Russian war machine,» Kallas said, adding that she has nothing to hide and hasn't hidden anything. «But I cannot be informed about the activities of my husband's business partners,» she said.