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Who is Kaja Kallas, the woman who can replace Borrell?

Who is Kaja Kallas, the woman who can replace Borrell?

Great critic of Russia, constant supporter of Ukraine, and supporter of the idea that the future of the Western Balkans is in the European Union.

These are just some of the strong points, for which the prime minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, is known.

As for Kosovo, she has met several times with high state officials and has said that she supports the Euro-Atlantic goals of this country.

The name of the 47-year-old is being mentioned often recently, as a possibility to be appointed as the chief diplomat of the European Union in the new legislature of the European bloc.

Currently, this position is held by Josep Borrell.

EU leaders met on June 17 to discuss new names in the bloc's top positions, but failed to reach an agreement.

This was their first meeting after the elections held for the European Parliament on June 6-9.

Despite the significant growth of far-right parties, center-right and left-wing parties have emerged first.

This means that current EU chief Ursula von der Leyen of the European People's Party - who won the most votes - is likely to win a second term.

In addition to the name of Kallas for the position of the chief diplomat of the EU, the name of the former prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, is also being mentioned in the diplomatic circles for the position of the head of the European Council.

The tough attitude towards Russia's policies may be one of the dilemmas if Kallas will be able to become the EU's chief diplomat, taking into account the attitudes of some European leaders towards Moscow, even after the start of the war in Ukraine, in February 2022 , it is stated in a material of the Reuters agency.

For example, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban continues to cultivate friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Unlike Orbani, Kallas has put Estonia high on the list of countries that have helped Ukraine to cope with the conflict.

Her name is on the Russian Interior Ministry's wanted list for allegedly destroying Soviet-era monuments.

Estonia, along with Latvia and Lithuania, have demolished most of the monuments from this period, especially those commemorating Soviet soldiers killed in World War II.

Born in Tallinn, she is the great-granddaughter of Estonia's first Chief of Police, after the country left the Russian Empire at the end of World War I, but was then absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1940.

Kallas' mother was only six months old when her family was forced to relocate to Siberia in 1949, along with 20,000 other Estonians.

"Russia has not changed," she said last year, according to Reuters reports, when she marked the anniversary of her mother's exile.

"This devil still lives in Russia."

In recent years, Prime Minister Kallas has met with the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, and with Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

After the meeting with Osmani, in 2021, Kallas said that Estonia supports Kosovo towards European integration and that the key to success are "reforms, the fight against corruption and organized crime and securing recognition of citizenship by five EU countries" - reference for Slovakia, Cyprus, Romania, Greece and Spain.

She also mentioned in that meeting the need to improve relations with Serbia, on the grounds that a secure Western Balkans "is in the interest of all of Europe".

Kallas has met Kurt twice, in 2022 and 2023, in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Prime Minister of Estonia has thanked Kurti that Kosovo has lined up alongside the EU in sanctioning Russia for the war started in Ukraine, while Kurti has thanked her for the support given to Kosovo in state building.

At the 2023 meeting, within the framework of a summit for open governmental partnership, the two officials discussed the need for cooperation in the digitization of public services, taking Estonia as an example.

"Kosovo and Estonia have excellent bilateral relations, as well as similar historical pasts. Kosovo takes the state of Estonia as a model in many aspects of state building", said Kurti, mentioning in particular the public administration.

The official appointed to the role of High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy has a dual role.

That person is also one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission and has the role of the head of European diplomacy.

He also works to build consensus among EU member states, chairs meetings between EU foreign ministers, defense ministers, trade and development ministers.

EU leaders are expected to continue discussions on the names at the head of the European bloc at the end of next week, when the regular EU summit will be held on June 27 and 28./ REL

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