Tüür: Meeting no great breakthrough, meaningful only in bilateral sphere

Karmo Tüür.
Karmo Tüür. Source: ERR

ERR's Aktuaalne kaamera newscast talked to political scientist and commentator Karmo Tüür on Thursday evening. While Mr Tüür did say that the two presidents' meeting will be of some importance for bilateral relations, it altogether "adds another line" to the existing relationship, rather than turning the page.

Mr Tüür said that the meeting of President Kersti Kaljulaid and her Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday is "definitely not a breakthrough" of any kind. This couldn't be seen as turning the page on Estonian-Russian relations, but rather as the addition of yet another line to what is already there.

He went on to say that the meeting "ticks the box" where a lot of time has passed since Estonia and Russia's incumbent heads of state met like that, but won't affect much more than the personal relationship of the two presidents.

The views and interests of Estonia and Russia diverge too much for there to be hope for much more, Mr Tüür argued, both along the line of strategic considerations as well as in matters of how the countries see themselves and their place in the world.

In short, in the wider field of international relations, especially also where NATO is concerned, the meeting is nothing extraordinary, he said.

Meanwhile the friendliness and the mutual respect demonstrated in the meeting are commendable, and Mr Tüür also complimented President Kaljulaid on the decision to invite President Putin to Estonia for the 2020 World Congress of Finno Ugric Peoples in Tartu.

"The invitation is a very elegant move in that the Finno-Ugric theme is something Vladimir Putin has shown interest for in the past," Mr Tüür said, adding that in this sense, the invitation is a "reasonable" way to continue where the meeting left off.

The only Russian president to ever have attended the congress is Dmitry Medvedev, who did so when it took place in Russia in 2008.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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