Last night, three Estonian political parties struck a deal to create a new coalition government for Estonia, consisting of Reform, Isamaa and the Social Democrats, and again led by current Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
Yet, in the bizarro world inhabited by pro-Kremlin influencers online, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is instead said to have resigned in some kind of victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin. This perception is being pushed by a large number of accounts (in multiple languages) that are openly supportive of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and wider Kremlin talking points.
Prime Minister Kallas has been widely praised in the international media for her robust stance supporting Ukrainian and standing up against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war against it. So her apparent resignation is being portrayed by them (in widely retweeted posts) as a defeat for that stance within Estonia. Many also linked this to the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the same reason.
What’s really going on?
Here at Propastop, we generally don’t get involved in party politics – yet the international misinformation around it here needs explaining.
In an interview with Delfi, Prime Minister Kallas said that she would resign during the process to form the coalition and, based on the agreement, would be immediately re-appointed as Prime Minister. This is more of a constitutional technicality to gain a new mandate in Estonia’s parliament, Riigikogu, as Prime Minister of a new governing coalition.
After gleefully spreading the news that Prime Minister Kallas has resigned – without that explanatory context – one pro-Kremlin account commented that it is “very strange that the conventional international media are not warning about the resignation of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas”.
Yet, her “resignation” has, in fact, been reported internationally – just not with the prominence they expect due to the explanatory context.
In a widely syndicated Reuters article, for example, it does mention that “Kallas told news portal Delfi she agreed to resign, at a later date, and get reappointed by the new majority as part of forming the new cabinet”, while the main focus of the article was on the main news that she had reached an agreement to regain a majority in the Estonian Parliament.
As for the UK, British Prime Minister Johnson really did resign permanently, yet that was over domestic issues in spite of his strong support for Ukraine that is supported unanimously across British political parties. Johnson specifically referenced this in his own resignation speech, clarifying that the UK as a whole would continue to support Ukraine regardless of who is their next Prime Minister.
While the formal process in Estonia of concluding the agreement between the parties and ratifying the new governing coalition by Parliament is ongoing, it is likely that “the Prime Minister’s defeat for supporting Ukraine” is – much like the mockery towards the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine – yet another prediction by pro-Kremlin influencers that they will soon hope you forget.
Propastop is run by volunteers at the Estonian Defence League who monitor and fact check propaganda against the Republic of Estonia. For more English language content from Propastop, follow us @Propastop on Twitter here.