Head of Isamaa: the question of the border treaty with Russia should be “frozen” | Policy

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On the border issue, Seeder said: “At least with the participation of Isamaa, the government will not proceed with the conclusion of the Estonian-Russian border agreement, on which the outgoing government worked and showed initiative. unilateral,” he said. said, calling the policy, which would recognize the current Estonian-Russian border and not that of the 1920 Tartu Treaty, where the border ran somewhat east of the current border, as irrational and not something that should be taken over by the next administration.

On defense and security, Seeder said he thinks there shouldn’t be any major issues in the talks over it, although he called for more clarity on defense spending. .

“However, we are not just talking about money. The budget is the area that guides our priorities, and the government in place has also said that an additional 800 million euros will go to defence. We do not know exactly where and on what”, while adding that: “Isamaa thinks that it is necessary to invest as much as possible in the field of defense”.

Isamaa’s family policies should also make it a deal.

“The homeland is still behind child benefits. Now our situation is changing in the sense that we may no longer be in opposition, but rather want to be in a coalition, but the basis of our family policy will not change. We want the (child benefits) bill to pass in its current form,” Seeder said.

The unilateral tabling of the bill by the center in the Riigikogu without the consent of the reformists was one of the final straws that led to the break-up of the reform-center coalition a little over a year ago. week.

On education, another sticking point between the reform and the centre, Isamaa wants to speed up the transition to Estonian-language education, says Seeder.

He said: “The biggest problem is that there has not been enough political will to do it so far. There are no teachers, there is no methodology and not enough funding. When there is a political decision and objectives, then the resources are going to be found for that.”

In the days before the Reform Center administration collapsed, Isamaa voted with reformers on a bill that would have made kindergarten education virtually entirely in Estonian if passed. However, the Center voted with a motion from the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) to strike the bill from the agenda, and the SDE abstained, meaning the legislation was effectively put on the table. canned.

Isamaa also wants to solve the problem of financing higher education, Seeder said. “The abnormal situation where no administrative agreement has been reached with the universities must be stopped quickly.”

On the energy issue, the government should contribute in every way to increasing the security of energy supply in Estonia, and this includes both energy production and improving connections, Seeder said.

Isamaa also wants to initiate electricity market reform at the government level.

“It has not been approved by parliament so far, but we want to raise it again during the negotiations. We understand that it is not possible to implement it in such a short time, but it is possible to make a start at least,” Seeder said.

Helping those most in need to survive soaring energy bills and inflation, and tackling inflation in general, is also a priority for Isamaa, Seeder said after Saturday’s meeting.

“It’s about taxes, excise duties and also compensation – for the high prices of electricity, natural gas and heat. Last year it was not very successful, but we have to learn from our mistakes and do better next year,” Seeder continued. .

Measures to support the energy bill were put in place from the end of 2021 following the establishment of successive record prices for electricity, natural gas and also district heating supplied jointly to many residential buildings. , even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Russian energy supply decoupling measures. natural gas and the search for alternatives.

There were indeed two components to this support, one identified with the Centre, which focused more on low-income households, and the other with the Reform, which mainly targeted businesses.

Isamaa was courted by both reform and center after last Friday’s coalition collapse, making him the kingmaker of the play, taking more than a week to announce his decision.

Seeder has also slammed Kaja Kallas for not stepping down as prime minister, while speculation is rife that Seeder himself will run.

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