Estonian Ambassador to France recalled, criminal investigation opened – fr

Estonian Ambassador to France recalled, criminal investigation opened – fr

Clyde Kull, Estonian Ambassador to France, was summarily recalled from his post; the Estonian public prosecutor’s office said it had opened a criminal investigation against the former ambassador.

The Ambassador’s recall decree was signed by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid on May 20. Besides France, Kull represented Estonia as Ambassador to Monaco, Tunisia and to the OECD and UNESCO, based in Paris.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Kull’s recall from Paris, but declined to comment further at this point, citing a criminal investigation by the country’s prosecution.

An Estonian prosecution spokesperson told Estonian newspaper Eesti Päevaleht that Kull was “suspected of misappropriation” and “violated the requirements for handling state secrets and classified information”. “This is a preliminary suspicion which may change during the course of the investigation,” the spokesperson said.

Kull denies all allegations

According to the newspaper, Kull’s access to state secrets, which requires special permission, has also been revoked.

In a statement sent to Estonian World by Clyde Kull’s son Toomas Kull, his father’s defense lawyer Aivar Pilv confirmed that the procedural steps related to the preliminary suspicions against Clyde Kull had been followed.

“Clyde Kull continues to cooperate fully with the relevant authorities. Clyde Kull denies the allegations made to him. To his knowledge, he has never intentionally committed any of the acts of which he has been accused, ”the statement continued.

Former Estonian foreign minister and current MP Urmas Reinsalu told Estonian public radio that no issues regarding Clyde Kull had arisen during his tenure.

“Clyde Kull has been a crucial figure in the Foreign Office, and no such problem has ever arisen,” Reinsalu said. “It’s a bad surprise and I hope that in the investigations these things will find some kind of reasonable explanation and that the presumption of innocence in the country must apply.

Clyde Kull (right) presenting his credentials to French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace on December 10, 2019. Photo by Chislain Mariette.

Studied in Moscow

Clyde Kull, born in Võru, Estonia, in 1959, studied international relations at Moscow State University until 1985. In 1987 he obtained his doctorate there. From 1985 to 1991, he worked in the Department of International Relations of the Central Council of Soviet Trade Unions.

When Estonia regained its independence in 1991, Kull entered his country’s diplomatic service. From 1990 to 1991 he was adviser to the Estonian delegation in negotiations with the Soviet Union in the field of military and security policy. From 1991 to 1992 he worked in the Political Department of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also appointed representative of Estonia at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna.

Clyde Kull presenting his credentials to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in Paris in 2019. UNESCO photo.

A long diplomatic career

From 1992 to 1996, he was Estonian Ambassador to Belgium and Permanent Representative of Estonia to NATO. From 1992 to 1997, Kull also represented Estonia in the European Union in Brussels.

Kull was Estonian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva from 2000 to 2004; from 2004 to 2008 he was Estonian Ambassador to Germany. From 2012 to 2019, he was the Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the European Union.

In 2019, Kull became Estonian Ambassador to France; he resided in Paris.

Clyde Kull is married to Olga Kull and has two children.

This story is being updated …

Cover: Clyde Kull in 2012 at a presidential reception in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Arno Mikkor.


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