Mart Helme. Photo by Erik Peinar - Riigikogu Kantselei
Friday, 13 November 2020 19:00
Estonian Life No. 45 2020
BNS, ERR News, November 2020
The Estonian American National Council (EANC, the equivalent of the Estonian Central Council in Canada - EKN) has expressed its dismay over the statements made by former interior minister Mart Helme and finance minister and Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) leader Martin Helme about last week’s American presidential elections.
Mart Helme said that president-elect Joe Biden was, along with his son Hunter, a “corrupt character”, and that the result might lead to bloodshed in the U.S., a key Estonian NATO ally, while both agreed that the elections had seen widespread voter fraud, repeating a line claimed by incumbent president, Donald Trump.
“The world has followed the course of the U.S. presidential elections with great interest,” the EANC, a North American-based organization, said in a statement.
“It is now widely accepted that the next U.S. president will be Joseph R. Biden. The elections were conducted in a legal, fair and transparent manner. Although attempts have been made to challenge the elections via the courts, no attempt has been successful and the conclusion has been the same wherever this has been attempted - no fraud has taken place,” the statement continued.
Leading U.S. media outlets and state election organizers have also denied such baseless allegations, the EANC said.
The remarks made by both Helme’s now makes the EANC’s work with the U.S. government much more difficult, the organization said.
“We need to start explaining why the new U.S. government should support Estonia, and whether future cooperation is still possible. Reports of these events have already reached North America, including in the American press,” the statement continued.
The Washington Post was one of the first of such publications to pick up both Helme’s original remarks, and his subsequent resignation on Monday.
“The situation raises the question of whose interests the leaders of EKRE are furthering. It is quite apparent that it is neither those of Estonia nor the U.S. The slander can also put into jeopardy the high international reputation that Estonia and the Estonian people have had to date,” the statement went on.
Estonia joined NATO in 2004, and has seen plenty of military cooperation with the U.S. since then, most recently with visiting overflights by B-52 strategic bombers, and the presence of two MQ-9 Reaper drones at Ämari air base during the summer.
The EANC represents Estonians living in the U.S. and was established in 1952 while Estonia was under Soviet occupation.
It has long stood for the restoration and subsequently securing of Estonian independence, it says, including at the highest levels.
“We have consistently stood for the interests of Estonia before the U.S. Congress and the administration to protect Estonia’s security, to support its accession to NATO, to emphasize the importance of the Baltic region to the U.S., and to further cooperation between Estonia and the U.S.,” the EANC added, noting that it sincerely hopes that Estonia will still defend democratic values and move forward so that relations between the two countries will become even stronger in the future.