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Estonian Kaja Kallas elected to EU diplomacy

She did not lead NATO, but ultimately European diplomacy. A culmination in the career of this 47-year-old polyglot woman (Estonian, Russian, French, English), who in 2021 became the first woman to govern the 1.3 million Estonians. A lawyer by training, her political career has been a straight line until then: MP at 34, then MEP, in 2018 she took over the leadership of the liberal party founded by her father, former Prime Minister and European Commissioner.

The war in Ukraine revealed her to Europe. The Estonian “Iron Lady” is one of the leading figures in supporting Ukrainians in the face of the Russian invasion. Kaja Kallas, 14 when her country gained independence in 1991, is well acquainted with the methods of her big neighbor. Her family had been deported to Siberia after the Soviet invasion of World War II.

Increased military spending

Despite the huge inflation linked to energy prices, the head of the Estonian government has increased her small country’s military spending and encouraged the arrival of NATO units. A very popular position.

But the scandal affecting her husband in 2023 tarnishes her image. While she advocates avoiding all trade with Russia, the transport company in which her husband had shares continued its deliveries to Russia. Kaja Kallas is holding firm, getting re-elected as head of her party, but was looking for an international position to leave with her head held high. The head of European diplomacy is quite a catch, hailed by the Estonian media. But she will also have to demonstrate that she is interested in something other than the fight against Russia.

This article is originally published on .ouest-france.fr

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