Wikileaks embassy cable hits Estonian president

Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves (right) and U.S. president George W. Bush (left) at the Estonian National Bank © Estonian Foreign Ministry 2006

A U.S. Embassy cable recently published by wikileaks via the Estonian Postimees reveals the deep divide between Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Edgar Savisaar, current mayor of Tallinn.

After Ilves and Savisaar – who is also the leader of the Estonian Centre party – had already quarrelled about Savisaar’s connection to a Russian business man, the cable now reveals that there had been deep mistrust between the two since 2006. Apparently, Ilves told U.S. officials that Savisar was a ‘cheap populist’ and ‘Estonia’s Hugo Chavez’. He also mentioned Savisaar’s suspicious contacts to Russian entrepreneurs and his frequent travels abroad.

President Ilves commented on the publication stating that news reports had taken the quotations out of context and they did neither represent the content of the conversations nor his personal views. Savisaar, who in 2006 served as a minister of economic affairs, found surprisingly conciliatory words for the situation of his political enemy, criticising the way the compromising material was published and called on the media to release the full text.

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