Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement that the border treaty between Estonia and Russia could be ratified soon, was a message to the Russian Parliament to get on with the process, former Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet said.
“After 22 years of preparations, the process should be pushed over the finish line now. Estonia and Russia should have a common border which is accepted de facto and de jure by both sides. It is also an important component in security,” Paet, now a MEP, said.
Head of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Marko Mihkelson, said that Lavrov's message was aimed at the Duma, but the most important step would now be for President Vladimir Putin to officially send the documents to the Russian Parliament.
Mihkelson said that Estonia has completed all necessary procedures, adding that the Russian side knows Estonia will only make the next steps when Russia is prepared to take the next steps.
The treaty was signed by Lavrov and Paet nearly a year ago, but the treaty will only enter force once both parliaments have ratified it. So far Russia has sent out mixed messages, including saying that the current political climate does not allow for the finalization of the treaty.
Paet said that Russia is seeking to improve relations with the EU and a border treaty with a member nation could be part of that drive.
Bulldozers lie in wait
“It is in the interest of the Estonian Republic to be able to build up the border to its full extent, after the border is fully fixed by treaties,” Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said.
He said that both parliaments should begin the ratifying process before any more details and visits can be talked about.
Lavrov said this week that Russia could soon go ahead with the ratification.
Editor: J.M. Laats