Estonia's parliament committee recommends using Königsberg not Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad. Source: A.Savin/Wikimedia (Free Art License - FAL)

The Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee proposed on Tuesday that the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad should be referred to by its historical name Königsberg from now on.

The committee made the proposal to the Language Committee of the Estonian Language Society.

Chairman Marko Mihkelson (Reform) said the committee found that using the Soviet-era name Kaliningrad in the Estonian language should be discontinued and the historic name Königsberg should be used instead.

Mihkelson emphasized that Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have already made similar moves.

Members also pointed out that the city of Kingisepp in Russia, close to the Estonian border, should be called by its former name Jamburg or Jaama.

The Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee has proposed changing the name of Kaliningrad and Kingisepp. Source: Datawrapper/ ERR News

The Language Committee of the Estonian Language Society helps to define the standard of the Estonian written language and includes an advisory working group on foreign names.

The issue will be discussed again next month.

In 1255, the city with the old Prussian name Twangste was renamed Königsberg in honor of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. After World War II, the city became part of the Soviet Union and was renamed Kaliningrad after the Soviet politician and a leading figure of the Stalinist terror regime Mikhail Kalinin.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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