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Eesti in brief

  • 2015-11-18

Border treaty looms

The Riigikogu, Estonia’s parliament, has announced that a bill to ratify a border treaty with Russia will go to its first reading on Nov. 25.
“I’m convinced that the parliament has that majority,” says Former defense minister Sven Mikser, now an MP who chairs Estonia’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
The two countries have not agreed on where they share a border since Estonia became an independent nation for the second time in its history when the Soviet Union collapsed.
The border treaty between Estonia and Russia was signed in Feb. 2014, but is yet to enter force as neither of the two parties has ratified it.
Estonia is also currently in the process of marking down and developing the border, which serves as an external border of the EU and is shrouded in forests and bogs, making for tough work to mark it clearly — a task that gained urgency after Estonian counter-intelligence officer Eston Kohver was picked up by Russian security forces in Sept. 2014.

Compensation?

Should the Baltic states be compensated by Russia for their occupation during the Soviet era?
The World Estonian Council thinks so, supporting the joint initiative between the Baltic States to claim restitution from Russia.
The council, which brings together the central organizations of exiled Estonians in 12 countries, says the claim of the three Baltic countries is justified and the uninterrupted legal continuity de jure of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania allows the presentation of such demands for restitution, the chairman of the council, Laas Leivat, told BNS.
Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council, told Interfax last Thursday, however, that it was a claim that had no basis.
“It seems to me that this initiative, which has existed for a long time, has no international legal prospects,” Fedotov told Interfax.
“But what is more important to me is the moral evaluation of this initiative. Russia is a victim of a totalitarian regime rather than a party guilty of it,” he said.