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5 Mar, 2024 13:43

EU nation’s PM posts ‘proof’ she doesn’t ‘eat Russians’ for breakfast

Estonian PM Kaja Kallas has shared a veiled rebuke after claims that she is too hawkish to lead NATO
EU nation’s PM posts ‘proof’ she doesn’t ‘eat Russians’ for breakfast

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has disputed claims that she is too hawkish toward Moscow to become the next head of NATO. Contrary to what her detractors claim, she does not “eat Russians for breakfast,” Kallas suggested on social media on Tuesday.

The politician posted a picture of her breakfast, addressing readers of Politico and posting a link to a story about her NATO candidacy published by the outlet on Monday. The meal included blueberries, muesli, a dairy product, and a drink.

The article about Kallas and other contenders for NATO’s top job focused on differences of opinion within the US-led bloc over how much anti-Russian antagonism the West can tolerate from senior officials.

Critics are reportedly concerned that installing a Russia hawk such as Kallas at the helm of NATO – or picking her as the EU’s next foreign policy and security chief, after Josep Borrell steps down this year – would be unwise.

“I don’t see France and Germany agreeing to that, because of the same reasons she was not an option for the NATO job,” an EU official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said of the leader of the Estonian government. “Are we really putting someone who likes to eat Russians for breakfast in this position?”

In a previous interview with Politico, Kallas complained about a perceived lack of “geographic balance” among European nations, which she said cast doubt on their equality within the EU.

She criticized the candidacy of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is believed to be the frontrunner to replace incumbent NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. If approved, he would become the fourth person from the Netherlands to lead the organization, she noted.

Highlighting the hawkishness gap was Kallas’ reaction last week to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, who suggested NATO members could eventually send troops to Ukraine to help in the conflict with Russia. The Estonian prime minister backed Macron’s remarks, despite the majority of nations, including the US, ruling out such a scenario.

Kallas’ attitude toward Moscow has also been reflected in domestic policies. Last month, she described elderly ethnic Russians living in Estonia as a threat to national security.