Tartu, Tallinn end cooperation with Russian sister cities
Tallinn and Tartu will end cooperation agreements with partner cities in Russia due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Tartu City Government has proposed to end its cooperation agreements with the Russian city of Pskov and the Vasileostrovsky District of the City of St. Petersburg.
Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas said on Thursday under the present circumstances the only option is to end cooperation.
"We consider the military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the war crimes committed there to be unacceptable, and therefore it is not possible to continue our current cooperative relations," he said in a statement on Thursday.
The agreements have been in place with the City of Pskov since 2000 and the Vasileostrovsky District of the City of St. Petersburg was signed in 2006.
Tallinn said it will is end cooperation with official bodies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The council called on local governments in Estonia as well as those in other capital cities to do the same.
Tallinn City Government on Thursday condemned Russia's actions against Ukraine, and expressed support for the Ukrainian people, via a joint statement.
"The City of Tallinn strongly condemns the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, and the illegal recognition of occupied territories," the statement read. "Russia's large-scale military action in Ukraine is a crime against peace, and is contrary to human rights, international agreements and the UN Charter. We support the right of the Ukrainian people to voluntarily determine their own future."
The statement also noted assistance which is being provided to people fleeing the war in Ukraine, both those who have already arrived and those who will come here.
At the same time, the statement recognized the diverse populace living in Tallinn itself.
"Tallinn is home to citizens of different nationalities. We emphasize that all our residents, regardless of their mother tongue and cultural background, can feel safe in the Estonian capital and retain their language and culture," the statement added.
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Editor: Helen Wright, Andrew Whyte