Justice minister: Estonia terminating legal assistance pact with Russia

Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform).
Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform). Source: Renee Altrov

Estonia is to terminate a legal assistance agreement it has with the Russian Federation, Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform) says.

The agreement currently in force primarily concerns family law such as alimony payments, and also commercial law, regarding day-to-day relations between firms on either side of the border.

Speaking to Vikerraadio Friday, Minister Laanet said: "There were a total of 240 requests for legal assistance in 2022, primarily to Estonia, from Russia."

Terminating the agreement is not likely to drastically change the situation, however, ERR reports, since it does not mean that Estonian courts will not be able to process judgments relating to the Russian Federation in anyc ase.

The next step will see the justice ministry send the termination bill for its coordination round with the relevant stakeholders, after which it will reach the cabinet for discussion, Laanet said.

As for the decision, the minister said: "We work on the assumption that we conclude a legal aid agreement with a country whose court and judicial system we can place our trust in.

"[However,] the Russian judicial system works via the Kremlin. We do not trust Russian judicial bodies, since they are skewed by the Kremlin."

Isamaa's Urmas Reinsalu, a former justice minister, had in early summer, shortly before becoming elected leader of that opposition party, had stated that he favored terminating the agreement; keeping all and any interaction with the Russian Federation to as minimal an amount as possible was logical, he said at the time.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Vikerraadio

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