Foreign minister: No change in relations with Russia this year

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Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Raigo Pajula

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says 2021 will bring no substantive change in Estonia's relations with the Russian Federation, which he called a good thing.

Talking to private radio station Raadio Kuku's "Välismääraja" show on Sunday (link in Estonian), Reinsalu said: "If you are asking if there will be any change in our relations [with Russia] this year, then the answer is no, and I think this is a positive thing, not a negative one."

Reinsalu added that nonetheless, unpredictability in relations with Russia is on the rise, but that Estonia does not view its relations with its eastern neighbor as a separate entity from its foreign policy and international relations as a whole.

He said that he believes that: "The background of unpredictability in relations with Russia can certainly increase. And we know that Russia has also had one method of finding political legitimacy for various actions internationally."

Elections to the Duma, the Russian parliament, take place this year, Reinsalu noted, with serious competition expected between the ruling United Russia party and other parties, which he said would be a sign that the current power structure in Russia has a legitimacy issue, which needs to be borne in mind.

On January 1, Estonia started its second year of a two-year stint holding a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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