Border treaty not important, says international law expert (1)

Rein Müllerson Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
8/24/2015 2:20 PM
Category: Politics

The border treaty between Estonia and Russia may not have great meaning, but it could ease tensions, says Rein Müllerson, a former adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev and a deputy minister under Lennart Meri, later a university professor in international law in Estonia and the United Kingdom.

Müllerson said that in his opinion, Russia was quick to sign a peace treaty with Estonia in 1920 because Lenin did not think there was much importance in it, for he believed the communist revolution in Germany and elsewhere would begin and quickly spread to eastern areas given to Estonia but settled by the Russians, Eesti Ekspress reported.

“It is not really important if there is a border treaty or not, although it would be better to sign it as it would be one step in decreasing tensions between Russia and Estonia. That tension is not really a question of Estonia and Russia, but one of Russia and NATO and Russia and the United States,” he said.

He said military demonstrations, such as US forces marching in Narva, are ominous and will have no real meaning if a conflict breaks out, asking if Estonia should be creating these kinds of threats. He said Estonia cannot be liked by Russia, as then it will be swallowed up, and the two nations are very far from friendship, adding that Estonia's position on Russia is not up to Estonia itself, and the nation has taken sides against Russia in conflicts it should have kept away from, such as in Georgia in 2008. “I think flaming hatred to be dangerous,” he said, adding that Estonia is a pawn between Russian-US relations and it should be working towards any future conflict not happening on its soil.

J.M. Laats

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