Lithuanians worry about fallout from Belarus sanctions
INTERVIEW: “The weekend’s protests were the Russian people's, not the opposition’s” – Maxim Reznik
Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Russia's Sberbank makes a move in e-commerce with Goods.ru deal
Putin strikes a conciliatory tone in his World Economic Forum speech but warns of an “all against all” fight if tensions are ignored
OUTLOOK 2021 Russia
@russian_market sacked by UBS for supporting Navalny
Public support is collapsing for The People’s Servant Party
Ukraine’s industrial output jumped 4.8% y/y in December
State-owned Ukrgasbank signs off on convertible €30mn IFC loan ahead of its privatisation
National Bank of Ukraine retains a key policy rate at 6%, the outlook of the CPI deteriorates
Estonia's two big parties agree on grand coalition
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
China to be excluded from Czech tender for new Dukovany nuclear unit
Czech billionaire Kellner´s PPF makes another bid for Moneta Money Bank
Czech MPs pass protectionist food law in violation of EU rules
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
Hungarian government plans to regulate big tech to stop 'ban' on rightwing views
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
Protests sweep Poland after government launches near-total abortion ban
Polish parcel locker operator InPost soars in Euronext Amsterdam debut
Polish industrial production continues boom in December
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
BALKAN BLOG: Only better waste management can clean rivers of trash
Pandemic pushes public debt close to 80% of GDP in Albania and Montenegro
BALKAN BLOG: Superstition and resentment surround vaccination plans
Albania needs reforms for e-commerce to thrive, says World Bank
Bosnia's exports in 2020 amounted to BAM10.5bn, trade deficit to BAM6.3bn
Bulgaria’s latest nuclear u-turn
Retailers and restaurant owners threaten protests in Bulgaria if reopening is delayed
Bulgaria's Biodit first company to IPO on new BEAM market
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Kosovo’s biggest opposition party risks being unable to run in general election
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegro’s special prosecution probes finance minister over €750mn Eurobond issue
North Macedonia’s state-owned loss-makers await new owners
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
Romanian cybersecurity company Safetech floats shares amid rising investor interest
Romania government to pursue “ambitious” timetable for justice reforms
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
EBRD and WBIF support fast broadband in rural Serbia
Slovenia plans region's longest-tenor Eurobond
Slovenian crypto payment system enters Thai market
Slovenia’s economic sentiment indicator up 2.2 pp m/m in January
Slovenia lost €10bn by neglecting wood industry for decades
Turkish groceries delivery app Getir goes online in London
D’S Damat franchise deals ‘show Turkey’s hard-pressed mall operators becoming their own tenants’
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Following war with Armenia, Azerbaijan gains control of lucrative gold mines
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Azerbaijan
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
“Try me” not telecoms minister Iran’s president tells hardliners in internet row
Iran’s President Khamenei menaces private citizen Trump
Iran’s technology minister indicted for failing to properly implement internet censorship
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent, say Biden national security nominees
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
COMMENT: Mongolia is an island of democracy
OUTLOOK 2021 Mongolia
Mongolia's PM quits amid protests over treatment of mother with coronavirus and newborn baby
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Tajikistan: Writing for the president is on the wall (and then scrubbed off)
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
Deputy chairman of the far-right Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Interior Minister Mart Helme announced on November 9 that he is resigning as minister, following an inappropriate and rude remark about Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3 US presidential election.
Helme, already a controversial figure for his outspoken attacks on other public figures, commented on the US election on a radio talk show: "the logic based on which the deep state operates is to smuggle in dirtbags, corrupt dirtbags that can be blackmailed".
"Joe Biden and [his son] Hunter Biden are corrupt characters," he added.
Helme’s son, Finance Minister Martin Helme, commented on the same show that the elections in the US were “rigged so plainly, boldly, and on a massive scale”.
Mart Helme made further statements over November 7-8, casting doubt about the transparency of the election and questioning Biden’s victory. The comments were condemned by top politicians including President Kersti Kaljulaid as damaging to Estonia’s relations with the US, a highly important ally.
“Last night [November 8], looking at the slander and lies produced by the Estonian media, I decided to resign," Helme said. "The reason is very simple: no one can muzzle me," Helme added. "I say what I consider to be right, what concerns me.”
Exasperated, Kaljulaid decided on November 9 after hearing the remarks from the minister to convene the country’s Defence Council in the next few days to discuss the comments by Mart Helme and his son, Minister of Finance Martin Helme.
Opposition parties in the Estonian parliament have previously expressed no-confidence in both ministers representing the far-right political party.
"Mart Helme leaving [the government] is a step in the right direction. But Martin Helme, too, must be made accountable for his words," leader of the opposition Reform Party Kaja Kallas said on November 9.
Reform Party MP Marko Mihkelson submitted a motion of no-confidence in the finance minister, who is also the leader of EKRE, on November 9.
The parties submitting the motion opined that Martin Helme has purposefully caused harm to Estonia's security, international image and important allied relations.
"Martin Helme has called into question the reliability of Estonian elections and independence of Estonia's democratic institutions and has knowingly been sowing mistrust in the foundations of Estonia as a democratic state. Martin Helme has also disrupted the society and attacked various social groups," the motion reads.
"The minister of finance, Martin Helme, and minister of the interior, Mart Helme, in their declaration following the US presidential election severely attacked the democratic elections of the United States, Estonia's main security partner and ally. They attacked our most important ally's right to domestic political self-determination and the newly elected president himself. Mart and Martin Helme's unfounded accusations alleging election fraud in the United States and their personal attacks on president-elect Joseph R. Biden are unsubstantiated, immoral and completely inappropriate for members of the government. With this declaration, Mart and Martin Helme have caused extremely severe harm to Estonia's foreign and security policy interests," the opposition parties said.
Signatories to the motion said that by attacking Estonia's foreign policy course and the general principles of liberal democracy, both Helmes have undermined the reliability of Estonia as a democracy based on the rule of law in the eyes of its EU and Nato allies.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: