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Estonia to break off legal assistance agreement with Russia

The Russian Embassy in Tallinn.
The Russian Embassy in Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Estonian government has decided to terminate the country's legal assistance agreement with Russia, tasking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with drawing up the relevant bill and submitting it to the Riigikogu, the ministry announced Thursday.

"As long as Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine continues, we must continue all efforts to isolate Russia on the international stage and maintain bilateral Estonian-Russian relations at only the absolute minimum level," Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said according to a press release.

"Our aim is to terminate the agreement at the earliest opportunity, because it is Estonia's clear position that we are not cooperating with the aggressor," he added.

Once the agreement – which would have otherwise been extended automatically in 2025 – is terminated, judicial cooperation with Russia will be conducted on the same basis as with all other third countries.

All travel to Russia unadvisable

Last Thursday, the Foreign Ministry also updated its travel advisory for Russia, warning against all travel to Estonia's eastern neighbor altogether.

The ministry noted that dual Estonian-Russian citizens are regarded by the Russian Federation as Russian nationals, limiting Estonia's options for providing such citizens with consular services.

It also warned that there have been cases during border crossings in which Russian border guards have examined people's personal electronic devices, including their content as well as social media posts.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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