Seeder: Russian ministry's statement doesn't affect validity of 1920 treaty

Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa).
Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A recent statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not affect the validity of the Treaty of Tartu in any way, however such remarks demonstrate that Estonia has no reason to ratify the border treaty signed with Russia in 2014, said Helir-Valdor Seeder, chairman of the coalition Isamaa.

"Estonia restored its independence in 1991 on the basis of legal continuity, which has been recognized by all democratic Western states," Seeder said. "The Treaty of Tartu is the birth certificate of the Estonian state. It is the biggest diplomatic achievement in Estonia's history, and all attempts to undermine the value thereof must actively be rejected."

The junior coalition party chairman added that the Russian ministry's statement also demonstrates that Estonia still has little incentive to ratify its border treaty with Russia.

"In a situation where Russia denies the validity of the Treaty of Tartu and the occupation of Estonia, and does not recognize the restoration of Estonia's independence on the basis of legal continuity, there is no reason for us to ratify the border treaty with Russia," he said.

Seeder added that Russia's attempts to rewrite history must be actively called out.

"Eastern European states and Estonia have been working hard for years to ensure Europe and the world understand the injustices suffered by the states occupied by the Soviet Union," he said. "Isamaa and its like-minded people at home and abroad condemn the Russian Federation's attempts to rewrite history. Attempts to shift responsibility to the victims of aggression cannot be tolerated."

Russian minister: Treaty of Tartu invalid, belongs to history

The Russian Embassy in Estonia published on social media a statement by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova in response to a request to comment on celebrations of the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Tartu between Estonia and Soviet Russia in 1920.

"Estonia as a state that existed from 1918 to 1940 lost the status of a subject of international law due to its accession to the Soviet Union, and the Treaty of Tartu became invalid, as both parties that signed it were included in one subject of international law — the Soviet Union," Zakharova said. "In addition, [the Treaty of Tartu] is not in the registry of existing UN international treaties."

As it is known, she continued, agreements reached in Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam by participants of the anti-Hitler coalition (the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom) on the postwar structure of Europe do not call into question the accession of the Baltic republics into the Soviet Union.

According to Zakharova, modern-day Estonia, unlike the Russian Federation, which is the successor of the Soviet Union, is a new state formed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is thus one of its successors and recognized as such by the international community.

"Consequently, the Treaty of Tartu of 1920 is invalid and belongs to history," she concluded.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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