Estonian Public Relations Association calls on experts to stop representing Russian interests

Estonian Public Relations Association calls on Estonian business advisers to stop representing the interests of companies with a Russian state or national background.

“We deplore a situation where one government relations adviser has mixed national interests and political connections into a murky mess that is difficult for the casual observer to understand. Representing such clients is bad for the Estonian business advisory sector as a whole, which employs a very large number of noble people, and clearly undermines the foundations of our statehood. We understand that the content of a consultancy service is often only known in detail between the client and the consultant, but in the current situation, any misconceptions expressed in public should be convincingly refuted,” said Margus Mets, President of the Estonian Association of Communication Experts. 

The association calls on Estonia’s communication experts and government relations advisers, lawyers, auditors, and other business advisers to stop operating in the grey area and put the interests of the Estonian state and people before their own personal gain.

“Government relations advice requires a high level of business ethics and transparency of objectives. Steps have already been taken in both Europe and Estonia to better regulate the field of government relations, but there is a clear need to continue the debate. I also think it is important to emphasize that in our work we must always follow the code of ethics of the profession and have a clear moral compass,” Mets added.

Professional associations around the world are imposing sanctions against Russia, calling on their members not to provide services and consultancy to Russia and Russian-linked companies for as long as the war of aggression against Ukraine continues. The initiative was joined by several international networks of communications agencies immediately after the start of the war on February 24th, and both the UK and US governments recently announced a decision to ban their companies from providing management and consultancy services, including public relations, to Russia. Thus, the recommendation to stop doing business with Russia is not only important from a business ethics perspective but is an increasingly important issue at the level of national security and coordination of allied cooperation in general. 

The Estonian Association of Communication Experts (EPRA) is a professional association founded in 1996 and the only organization in Estonia that brings together people working in the field of communication. EPRA is the only organization in Estonia that brings together more than 100 people working in the field of communication from the public sector, commercial enterprises, non-profit organizations, and communication companies. The association organizes internal exchanges and events in the field of communication and contributes to the popularization and professionalization of the profession. EPRA is a member of the international professional organization Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and the Estonian NGO Association.

Margus Mets
President of the Estonian Association of Communication Experts

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