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Kaljurand: We move on knowing Estonia, Russia have different views of history

Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand said the fact that Estonia and Russia have a very different understanding of the past, cannot and will not hinder the ratification of the bilateral border treaty.

The Estonian Government gave its seal of approval to the Estonian-Russian border treaty on Thursday and sent to the Parliament for ratification. Earlier, IRL had asked for a declaration about the Treaty of Tartu - a 1920 peace treaty between Estonia and Russia, in which the latter acknowledged the sovereignty of Estonia and the sanctity of its borders - to be included in the text of the treaty. This request was not met but a paragraph was added to the accompanying explanation.

Marina Kaljurand was asked at the press conference if any references to Tartu treaty, or the lack of them in the text of the border treaty, could pose a problem when it comes to Russia.

According to Kaljurand, both Estonia and Russia accept the fact that they have very different views of the past. "We live with this understanding. We know that the Tartu peace treaty is a binding agreement, we trust in the legal succession of Estonia, which re-established its independence in 1991. Russia's understanding of historical events, including those in 1939, 1940 and 1941, are very different," she explained.

The fact that those opinions differ, should not influence us as a sovereign state, she added, for Estonians know on what grounds their country stands.

"This does not impede us from solving problems or signing agreements, as long as we don't go against our own principles. The current border treaties are worded in a way that leaves both parties the freedom to interpret history as they will, but the border will be fixed," Kaljurand stressed.

Editor: M. Oll

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