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Political consultations held between Russian and Estonian foreign ministries

Directors-general Paul Teesalu (Estonia) and Andrei Kelin (Russia).
Directors-general Paul Teesalu (Estonia) and Andrei Kelin (Russia). Source: (Välisministeerium)

Representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs of Russia and Estonia met in Moscow on Friday for political consultations. Though there were still issues, in particular the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the border treaty, cooperation seems to work in some areas.

In a press statement released on Friday, the Foreign Ministry’s political affairs director, Paul Teesalu, said that things were working out in the areas of culture, cross-border cooperation, and in direct contacts between people. Lasting issues were the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as well as the border treaty, which the Russian State Duma was still debating, Teesalu said.

Teesalu met with Andrei Kelin, who is the Russian foreign ministry’s director for European cooperation, and Igor Neverov, who leads the ministry’s European department. The meeting discussed bilateral relations, Russia’s relations with the European Union and NATO, the countries’ work in international organizations, and regional security issues. Estonia’s upcoming EU Council presidency and its priorities were also a topic.

Both sides acknowledged that cooperation was working in several areas, though Teesalu stressed that today’s difficult situation could only be overcome if the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was solved. This is also the EU as well as NATO’s condition for relations with Russia to improve.

The current state of the Russian-Estonian border treaty was discussed as well. “It is in the interest of both countries that these agreements enter into force. The bill for the ratification of the border treaty passed its first reading in the Riigikogu in autumn 2015, and is discussed in the State Duma as well,” Teesalu said.

It had been agreed that the ratification would take place in both parliaments simultaneously, Teesalu said, but no dates or deadlines had been set.

Last year similar consultations took place in Tallinn.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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