The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized Estonian authorities who annulled a Shengen visa of Russian journalist Igor Korotchenko after he arrived in Tallinn last week to participate in a media conference, the ministry said on Friday.
“The usage of visa restrictions by the Estonian side against Russian journalists is inadmissible and will be taken into account while building relations with Estonian authorities,” the ministry said in a statement.
Korotchenko, a renowned Russian military journalist and the chairman of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council, was detained in a Tallinn airport on May 6 and deported from the country after his visa was annulled.
The journalist was supposed to speak at the conference about the Soviets’ role in defeating Nazi Germany during World War II and the danger of using Nazi symbols in politics.
Korotchenko however made his speech online on May 8, saying that the move by Tallinn was “an unfriendly signal” and “a clearly outlined political trick” giving a signal of Estonia’s attitude toward Russia.
Moscow has been in controversy with Tallinn since 2007 after Estonian authorities relocated from central Tallinn a World War II war memorial, the Bronze Soldier, that was built at the site of several Soviet soldiers’ graves.
Parades in honor of Waffen-SS veterans, involving veterans from the Latvian Legion and the 20th Estonian SS Division and their supporters, are held annually in Latvia and Estonia. Russia has repeatedly criticized the Baltic States for allowing these parades to take place.