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Putin discusses fears of alleged Russian threat with Estonian leader

OMSK, April 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the Baltic states’ fears of "Russian threat" during a meeting with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed on Thursday in an interview with Russia’s Channel One, calling such statements "absolutely baseless".

"They mentioned NATO, the fears of Estonia and several Baltic states concerning security. We are confident that they are absolutely baseless. They are fueled artificially by NATO military commanders and overseas politicians," Peskov said, stressing that Russia "does not present a threat to any of its neighbors."

The spokesman also noted that Kremlin continues to express its concern over the fate of Russian-speaking minorities in Baltic states. "The situation of a Russian-speaking minority in Estonia and other Baltic countries has always been a key issue for us. This issue still stands with non-citizens, and it is not being resolved. However, on the other hand, our Estonian partners have shown some flexibility, for example, on the issue of postponing the transition of Russian-speaking schools to the Estonian language," Peskov pointed out.

Earlier on Thursday, the Estonian leader arrived in Moscow, where she participated in the opening ceremony of the reconstructed Estonian Embassy in Russia. After the ceremony, Kaljulaid met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who noted the previous lack of meaningful contact between Russian and Estonian officials. The previous meeting between Russian and Estonian leaders took place in 2008.