The final parliamentary vote on the Estonian-Russian border treaty bill will take place only once the process in Russia has reached the same stage, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Marko Mihkelson told the parliament during the first reading of the ratification bill.
The parliament’s foreign affairs committee decided to complete the first reading on Wednesday. The committee also decided that they would move on to the second and third reading only once the ratification process has been launched in the Russian Federation. Russian politicians have said earlier that they wish the process to be as simultaneous as possible in both countries.
Mihkelson said told ETV that a border treaty is a rule not an exception and defined and marked border would bolster Estonia’s security.
When the bill was initially submitted to the committee on 18 March, MPs noted that Estonia needs a defined border in light of the deteriorated security situation, but we also need to know that Russia is still ready to ratify the treaty.
Members of the Conservative People’s Party protested the vote in front of the parliament, saying the treaty will sign over areas that were given to Estonia with the Tartu treaty of 1920.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the border negotiations have lasted 22 years and today, the treaty has a distinct security dimension.