The chairman of the Russian Duma's foreign affairs committee, Alexei Pushkov, has signaled that Estonian-Russian relations will remain tense despite progress on the border treaty.
“Yes, signing the border treaties is a positive fact, but unfortunately negative issues continue in Estonia in our opinion and these restrict the development of our relations,” he told Eesti Päevaleht at a press conference in Moscow yesterday.
As issues of concern, Pushkov noted Estonia's high number of stateless persons and the transition to an Estonian-language curriculum in Estonia's Russian high schools, a key strategy in the Estonian government's integration plan and an effort to raise the competitiveness of Russian-speaking Estonian youths.
In related matters, it was reported yesterday that the Narva City Government is resisting an order to sack a group of principals on the basis on a lack of Estonian language skills. The majority of residents in Narva, Estonia's third largest city, are native Russian speakers.