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Steven Seagal's upcoming performance in Estonia draws criticism

BC, Tallinn, 17.07.2014.Print version

American action movie star Steven Seagal with his band is one of the main performers at the upcoming Augustibluus festival in North West Estonia, which has drawn criticism from other musicians as well as Estonian foreign minister due to the positions Seagal has voiced in regard to Ukraine, LETA/Postimees Online reports.


Estonian legendary musician Tõnis Mägi said in national radio on Tuesday that he does not understand why American action star Steven Seagal, who openly supports Putin and his politics regarding the Ukraine crisis, was invited to the festival. "This is totally incomprehensible, don’t these men at all observe what is happening in the world, the place where they live?" scolded Mägi.


The singer and song-writer said that the situation in Europe today is worrying and now a man is invited to Estonia who is in agreement with Putin, supports annexation of the Crimea and now performs at a motorcycle-festival in Sevastopol, singing the Donetsk national republic's anthem there together with Russian-minded separatists.


"This just cannot be, I call outright to boycott it," said Mägi.


The event's organizer Indrek Ditmann doesn't see inviting Seagal as a provocation. "We believe that in the context of Augustibluus festival, the political beliefs of the main performer are not of determining nature, since it is a music festival and when putting the program together, we cannot base it on beliefs the performers have outside music."


Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also finds that organisers of big cultural events should have a broader social sense. "Steven Seagal has in recent months wanted to actively participate in politics, and has done so in a manner which is not acceptable to a large part of the world that respects democracy and rule of law," said Paet.


"Just like occupation of a part of a neighbouring state cannot be accepted, senseless praise of it cannot be accepted either," the minister stressed.


The Augustibluus festival takes place on August 1-2 in Haapsalu.

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