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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Estonia Deports LDPR Firebrand

Vladimir Zhirinovsky's spokesman blasted the Estonian government Monday for its decision over the weekend to deport LDPR member Pyotr Rozhok for a second time in less than a year.

Rozhok, a Russian citizen and a resident of Tallinn since 1959, was first deported in March 1995 for working to undermine Estonian independence and territorial integrity. In announcing Rozhok's deportation, the Estonian Foreign Ministry labeled him "a threat to Estonia's state security."

The ministry cited various activities, including leading a violent attempt to take over the seat of government in 1990, telling a meeting in Narva in 1994 that Russians should not recognize the authority of the Estonian government, and calling on retired and reserve Soviet military officers in 1994 to form paramilitary units to oppose Estonian rule.

Rozhok was allowed back into Estonia in June 1995 to attend a first appeal of his case and last week was granted a three-day visa to attend his second appeal in Tallinn municipal court. When Rozhok failed to leave the country Saturday, Estonian authorities arrested and deported him. Rozhok, in Moscow on Monday, was unavailable for comment.

The LDPR's response was delivered by Viktor Filatov, Zhirinovsky's spokesman, who called the Estonian government's actions "unworthy," and said that when his party comes to power, it will "simply shut off the gas" to Estonia in retribution for this and other offenses.

Under Estonian law, no court ruling is needed to deport a foreign national, said Tiia Kangert, counselor at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. Deportees do, however, have the right to contest their expulsion, and leaders of Estonia's Russian community say that while Rozhok's politics, which include virulent anti-Semitism, are unacceptable, the process of his expulsion is cause for concern.

"Now it has become clear that one has the right of appeal only after the deportation has in fact taken place," Alexei Semyonov, adviser on social issues to the Tallinn city government, said by telephone Monday. "This case also shows that the passport of a Russian citizen in Estonia does not guarantee that the Russian government will defend him in any significant way," Semyonov said.