According to Russian news agency Interfax, a delegation from the northwestern Russian city of Pskov, known in Estonian by the name of Pihkva and situated approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the southeastern Estonian border, turned back after being detained at the Estonian border on its way to visit the Southern Estonian city of Tartu.
“I was informed that a delegation from Pskov led by Deputy Mayor Gavrilov planned to travel to Tartu to participate in events dedicated to this very special day for us, May 9, and the delegation was detained at the border,” Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Petrov told the Russian-language edition of Estonian daily Postimees.
“The information I have is that the delegation was held at the border for several hours to establish some sort of circumstances,” added the ambassador. “I quickly got in touch with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking them to explain what was going on.”
The ministry confirmed to BNS that they had received a corresponding request from the Russian Embassy on Monday.
“I have been informed by now that questions arose about the visas issued to members of the delegation,” explained Petrov. “I do not know the details, but find that right now, the reasons and motives for the Pskov representatives’ visit deserve special understanding. In any case, I feel great regret about what has happened.”
According to the ambassador, after a few hours at the border, the delegation of Pskov officials returned back home.
Throughout the Soviet Union, May 9 was celebrated as Victory Day, a holiday commemorating the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. It continues to be celebrated as such today in Russia and some former territories of the USSR, as well as unofficially in yet other Russian population centers abroad, including the Estonian cities of Tallinn and Tartu.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik