Estonian president nominates new Prime Minister

Estonia’s president nominated Juri Ratas, the leader of a center-left, traditionally pro-Russian party, as Prime Minister on Sunday, after the previous coalition government collapsed earlier this month.

The installation of a new government in the smallest Baltic state comes amid heightened tensions in the region over both Donald Trump’s election victory in the United States and concerns over neighboring Russia, although the president said on Sunday that foreign policy would not change.

I am convinced that Juri Ratas will be able to form a strong and active government and I am convinced Estonia’s foreign policy and security course will not change,” Estonia’s president Kersti Kaljulaid said.

The Baltic States hope that Trump will not follow through on pledges during his election campaign to look at the level of their defense spending before deciding whether to defend the NATO members against Russia.

Ratas is chairman of the center-left Estonian Centre Party and wants to introduce tax rises.

Reuters/Hauwa M.