Liimets: Government wants to move forward with 2014 border agreement

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Responding to questions by MPs on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said the government wants to move forward with the border agreement signed in 2014 and to ratify the agreement simultaneously in the Estonian and Russian parliaments.

Speaking to the Riigikogu on Wednesday, Liimets said the current government is ready to move forward with the border agreement between Estonia and Russia. "The Estonian government has proposed to proceed with the agreement signed in 2014 and to ratify this agreement in parallel in the parliaments," Liimets said.

Liimets stressed that Estonia considers it important that the ratification of the border agreement be pursued in parallel in the parliaments. Therefore, according to the foreign minister, it cannot be said that Estonia is ready to proceed unilaterally with the border agreement.

Liimets affirmed that the basis of Estonia's independence is the Tartu Peace Treaty. "This principle will not change," she said.

The foreign minister pointed out that according to the sections of the Constitution adopted in 1992, the border of Estonia is established by the Tartu Peace Treaty and other treaties. "Progress with the ratification of the border agreement is also pertinent according to such a legal framework," Liimets said.

The minister also pointed out that Russia's relations with the West have deteriorated and have been deteriorating for more than ten years already. "Therefore, one may ask when is a good time to ratify the Estonian border agreement," she said. "In terms of security, it is definitely important for Estonia that Estonia's border is ratified and clear."

Treaty of Tartu 1920

After difficult negotiations, the peace treaty between the Republic of Estonia and Soviet Russia was signed on February 2, 1920.

The treaty ended the Estonian War of Independence that had lasted for nearly a year and a half, and was one of the first major achievements in the field of international relations for the young Estonian state.

The treaty established Estonia's eastern border, and Soviet Russia recognised the independence of the Republic of Estonia in perpetuity. The instruments of ratification of the treaty were exchanged in Moscow on March 30, 1920 and the treaty entered into force.

When Estonia regained independence in August 1991, it was not within the borders in which it was born in February 1920 as a subject of international law under the Tartu Peace Treaty, and in which it was occupied and unlawfully annexed by the Soviet Union in June 1940.

A border agreement was signed between both countries in 2014 but never ratified.

The topic has recently been raised again after Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said in February that Estonia would again take steps to ratify the border.

ERR News previously republished International Center for Defense and Security's research fellow Kalev Stoicescu's article about the Estonian-Russian which gives an analysis and historical overview of the topic. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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