Estonia commemorates 103rd anniversary of Tartu Peace Treaty
Estonian government leaders and Tallinn city leaders, along with former foreign ministers, commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty with a ceremony at the statue of Jaan Poska in Kadriorg Park on Thursday. In Tartu, representatives of the Estonian National Defense College (Kaitseväe Akadeemia) placed a wreath on the War of Independence Memorial.
The ceremony in Tallinn was attended by the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (Kaitsevägi) and commander of the Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit), along with the mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center), chair of Tallinn City Council Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) and members of the Estonian Reserve Officers' Association (EROK).
The event at the Poska statue was followed by a lunch of former Estonian foreign ministers at Jaan Poska House.
In Tartu, representatives of Estonian National Defense College (Kaitseväe Akadeemia) laid a wreath at the War of Independence memorial in Paulus Cemetery.
The ceremony was also attended by Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform), Minister of Education and Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) and representative of the fraternity Fraternitas Tartuensis Mihkel Mikkelsaar.
Representatives of the Estonian National Defense College placed a wreath at the foot of the Kalevipoeg statue by the Emajõgi River. The commemorations in Tartu were also attended by members of the city's student fraternities.
In Narva, representatives of the city authorities and law enforcement organizations also marked the anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty by placing wreaths on the War of Independence memorial pillar in Narva Garrison Cemetery.
The anniversary was also marked with ceremonies in Pärnu and Kullama.
In Moscow, representatives of the Estonian Embassy visited the grave of Adolf Joffe, who signed the peace treaty with Russia in 1920. Estonian Ambassador to Moscow Margus Laidre is due to leave Russia by February 7.
The Treaty of Tartu was signed on February 2, 1920, and concluded the War of Independence, which had raged since 1918, in Estonia's favor. Similar conflicts had taken place in Finland (whose corresponding treaty was also signed in Tartu, in October 1920), and in Latvia, all of which obtained their full independence from the fledgling Soviet Russian state – itself riven by civil war. The border set by the Treaty of Tartu lay somewhat to the east of the present-day delineation and included the Estonian towns of Jaanilinn, in the northeast, and Petseri in the southeast.
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Editor: Michael Cole