The centenary of the peace agreement signed between Finland and Soviet Russia was celebrated in Tartu on Wednesday. A new tour and exhibition have opened to mark the occasion.
In February 1920, Estonia and Soviet Russia signed the Tartu Peace Treaty and, eight months later, on October 14, the Finns signed a similar agreement at the same table, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Wednesday.
While the Estonians' negotiations lasted approximately two months, Finland's took four months. The agreement confirmed the border between the countries and agreed on arrangements related to Finland's independence.
The Finns chose Tartu as the venue as similar negotiations had taken place there for Estonia's peace treaty.
"Secondly, Tartu also had quite good telegraph connections, which were quite secure. Other candidate cities, for example, fell away because of it," Tartu City Museum guide Ants Siim said.
Siim said initially there was a plan to hold the talks between Finland and Russia in Copenhagen, but the Danish Government indicated that they would be grateful if a proposal was not made to them.
The general meetings of the negotiations and the conclusion of the agreement took place in the building of the Estonian Student Society. Another important place was the Automaat restaurant, formerly located on Town Hall Square which was later destroyed in the Second World War, where things were set up more informally.
The Finns also asked the Estonian delegation for recommendations on how to succeed in the negotiations. Siim said as in the Estonian-Russian negotiations when things were carried out formally they did not work so well and became "propagandistic".
"In order for things to move forward, the Estonian negotiators suggested to the Finns that they could separate these things, operate in smaller groups and try to fix things informally," Siim said.
Finland's Honorary Consul for Tartu Verni Loodmaa said October 14 is very important for Finns.
"It is still remarkable in the sense that we can be proud that Tartu has played such an important role in the history of our neighboring country, and the nice thing is that the Finns today are also seriously interested in Tartu," said Loodmaa.
Editor: Helen Wright