Russia could ratify border treaty in first half of 2016 ({{commentsTotal}})

Head of the Russian parliament's committee on foreign affairs, Aleksey Pushkov, said Russia hopes to ratify the Russian-Estonian border treaty at the same time as Estonia, adding that this is likely to take place in the first half of the coming year.

A four-member Estonian Parliament delegation arrived in Moscow to reconnect with Russian colleagues, ETV reported.

ERR's Moscow correspondent Neeme Raud said the question of when the Russian parliament ratifies the treaty, is the most important question for Estonia.

Pushkov said this is likely to take place during the first half of the next year, adding that this is only the case if Estonia does not surprise the process somehow.

“As far as I know the mention of the Treaty of Tartu is not on the agenda. We have agreed that there will be no statements with the ratification of the agreement. I am counting on that agreement holding,” Pushkov said.

Igor Gräzin, a Reform Party MP and head of the Estonian delegation, said the bill will circle various commissions in the Russian parliament for two months. Gräzin said the bill was handed over to the foreign affairs committee on Wednesday and soon it will be sent to the commission for review.

“Currently relations are cold on an official level, but talking about positive signs – it may just be that I want to seem them – they do appear and they do wish for a breakthrough, maybe by ratifying the border treaty, Russia wants to show how accommodating it is to Estonia,” Andres Ammas, of the Free Party, said.

Both Estonian and Russian delegates said the most important thing now is to meet face to face, after a two-and-a-half year break.

Tatyana Moskalkova, head of a Estonian friendship group in the Russian parliament, said both sets of delegates find that obstacles must be removed and communication must be closer. She added that a close neighbor is better than a far away relative.

The Estonian delegation extended an invitation for the Russian delegation to visit Tallinn, although a number of Russian MPs will not be able to obtain a visa.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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