Estonian FoMin: Russia and Estonia should cooperate "where possible"

  • 2015-12-07

Estonia’s Foreign Minister, Marina Kaljurand, believes Estonia and Russia should cooperate where possible. 

However, Kaljurand emphasised that Estonia-Russia relations have endured difficulties since Estonia claimed independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. 

“Estonian policies on Russia are clear,” she told Interfax. “We work together in the areas where it is possible, but there are areas where we will continue to stand our ground.”

Kaljurand emphasised the normalisation of relations between Estonia and Russia largely depends on the Kremlin.

She outlined its position on Ukraine and the fulfilment of the Minsk agreements as the main areas of discontent. 

”The relations between the European Union and Russia changed after the events in Ukraine, and the illegal annexation of Crimea, both of which undoubtedly impact our bilateral relations," said Kaljurand.

Kaljurand said she disagrees with the suggestion that the Baltic States are setting the EU against Russia. 

"The European Union’s decision-making process is based on a consensus, and the point of view of every participant, regardless of whether the size of the state is taken into account,” she said. “However, no one can force an opinion on anyone.” 

"Estonia and the other Baltic States are equally as involved in all discussions and represent their governments' viewpoints. 

I am saying once again that we are talking about a unified policy, not the policy of Estonia, Latvia, Germany or Poland with regard to the EU’s policies on Russia.”

Kaljurand said working diplomatic contacts have been established between Estonia and Russia. 

According to Kaljurand, political consultations with Russia were conducted in Tallinn in mid November and Estonia hopes to hold consultations on consular issues in 2016.