Yet yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Marko's Estonian ire has been fixated on a sexagenarian Dutchman by the name of Rene van der Linden.
The epic backdrop to this never-ending soap opera is that van der Linden, as chairman of PACE, one of the many dull acronyms that make sure Europe is European enough, has gone to Moscow and participated in their ongoing efforts to convince the world that the Estonians are Finno-Ugric barbarians, and, by the way, the human rights abuses in Russia pale in comparison to not being able to vote in Estonian parliamentary elections and holding a humiliatingly colored gray passport.
To add insult to injury, van der Linden came to Tallinn in September to tell them that their naturalization process was going too damn slow and that maybe they should make it a bit easier to get citizenship by, say, letting people born in 1931 be exempt from the language part of the citizenship exam, not just people born in 1930 and up. He also reiterated the red herring that some residents of Estonia cannot vote in municipal elections. It is true there are some in that category, namely me -- a person who hasn't lived here the requisite five years to do it.
Well, Marko has hinted in a previous article that Van der Linden is so Russia friendly because he has business interests there, and so over the past few days he has been backing up his claims by publishing translated notices from Russian business websites covering van der Linden's visits to the Vladimir region of Russia where Noble House Holding -- which he is affiliated with -- has significant investments.
Mihkelson is a respected member of IRL, but he's also lower ranking than Mart Laar or Juhan Parts. I wonder if he could be the front man for a more widely coordinated exposure of van der Linden's conflicts of interest. Or maybe he just likes to stay up late at night in his pajamas, trawling through Russian regional and business websites. Either way, it's non-stop entertainment.
Today Vandy struck back on the PACE's website urging "Marko Mihkelson to stop this slandering". In his public retort, van der Linden stressed that he has not, and never has had, any financial involvement in any company in Russia", he "is not, and never has been, a member of any supervisory or other board of any company having economic interests in Russia", and he "has never received any financial advantage, compensation or payment of any sort in Russia in relation to activities involving Russia.
That claim however does not jive with Noble House Holding's website. Noble House Holding not only declares that it's "your bridge to the Russian market" but that van der Linden is indeed the head of Noble House's supervisory board.
The period of the project realization is 5 years, the volume of investments is about EU 500 million. PACE President Rene van der Linden volunteered to supervise the construction works. It is he who is the head of the supervisory board of Noble House Group.I wonder how long it will be until they scrub that one clean.