Foreign minister: Estonia making no territorial claims on Russia

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: ERR

Estonia has no intention of making any territorial demands on the Russian Federation, foreign minister Urmas Reinslu (Isamaa) told Russian newspaper Kommersant during an interview.

"If  you are asking whether the Estonian government plans to submit territorial claims to Russia in the future, then my answer is in the negative. We have no plans to do so," Reinsalu told Russian business daily Kommersant (link in Russian).

Kommersant also asked Reinsalu when the Riigikogu would ratify the border treaty with Russia.

"The issue of the border agreement has not been on the table during the pandemic. Moreover, the Russian leadership has linked the issue of the agreement to Estonia's political position. This is a very difficult issue at the moment and I cannot forecast anything," said the Estonian Foreign Minister.

At the same time, Reinsalu emphasized that from the point of view of international law, the old agreement, meaning the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty, is still in force.

The 1920 treaty's border ran somewhat to the east of the current border, primarily incorporating the present-day Russian city of Pechory (Petseri in Estonian) and its environs, in the southeast, and a strip of land on the eastern bank of the Narva River, including the former Estonian city of Jaanilinn (present day Ivangorod – a direct translation – in Russia).

These territories are not claimed in the new, but as yet unratified, border treaty between the two countries.

Reinsalu also pointed out that his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, was invited to February's Tartu Peace Treaty centennial, but declined to attend.

The foreign ministers of Latvia, Finland and Poland were in attendance.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said early on this year that he is not waiting for ratification of the border treaty any time soon, given a lack of common ground between both countries parliaments.  He also said the Tartu Peace Treaty should not be overlooked in border treaty discussions.

Other topics in the Kommersant interview included the situation in Belarus, the EU, Estonia's non-permanent UN Security Council seat, and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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