Parliament waiting for Russia on border treaty development

Narva border crossing between Estonia and Russia. (RIA Novosti/Scanpix)
7/23/2015 1:28 PM
Category: Politics

New Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand said Estonia will also reopen ratification of the Russian-Estonian border treaty in the fall after Russia said it will begin discussing the treaty on parliament level in November.

The two nations signed the treaty last February, after which the Estonia parliament began to process the treaty bill, as it will only enter force once both nations' parliaments have ratified it. Russia's progress has been far slower.

IRL MP and head of Parliament's National Defense Committee Marko Mihkelson told ERR News today that he believes Russia is not playing political games and this kind of process simply takes far more time in that country. He said there are economic treaties which the Russian parliament has not yet gotten around of ratifying, despite years passing.

The Russian Duma will not have long to process the treaty as the general election has been brought forward three months to September 2016. Mihkelson said he sees no reason why the current parliament will not ratify the treaty.

Speaking about the Estonian side of the ratification process, Mihkelson said the three current coalition parties, and the Center Party, agreed in 2012 to back the treaty, and the Estonian ratification vote should go smoothly.

The two nations agreed to ratify the treaty simultaneously. Former Estonian FM Urmas Paet, now an MEP, said Estonia should stick to Russia's tempo, and the Estonian government should prepare the bill for the fall.

“We will wait – until they begin the process and it should be clear soon if they are actually doing it or just putting on a face and saying they do not want to ratify a border treaty with such a nation as Estonia,” Enn Eesmaa, a Center Party MP and deputy chairman, said.

J.M. Laats

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