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Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Estonian PM

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. Finnish Government (CC BY 2.0)

Updated to include Peskov's, Zakharova's remarks. 

Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the independent news website Mediazona reported Tuesday, marking the country's first-ever criminal case against an acting head of a foreign government. 

Kallas appeared on Russia’s wanted list after she spoke in favor of dismantling a Soviet-era monument in the Estonian city of Narva, which borders Russia. 

Estonian State Secretary Taimar Peterkop, who oversees the Baltic country’s executive office, appears alongside Kallas on the list. 

The Russian Interior Ministry's database did not indicate which charges had been pressed against the two officials.

Mediazona said that Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, has pressed criminal charges against dozens of officials in eastern European countries, sometimes over their calls to dismantle Soviet monuments. 

The Kremlin later confirmed that Russian authorities issued arrest warrants against foreign political leaders over the dismantling of monuments.

“These are the people who take hostile actions against historical memory and our country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, responding to news reports about charges against Kallas and Peterkop, warned that the arrest warrants were “only the beginning.”

Estonia and its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania are among the most vocal supporters of Ukraine in its defense against Russia's invasion. 

All three Baltic states became members of NATO and the EU following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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