Estonian govt decides to terminate education cooperation with Russia

  • 2024-05-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian government decided on Thursday to end an education cooperation agreement between the governments of Estonia and Russia.

The agreement is being terminated due to Russia's military aggression in Ukraine, which constitutes a significant violation of international law, including the principles of the UN Charter. Essentially, education cooperation with Russia, which had effectively ended two years ago, will now also formally conclude.

The education cooperation agreement between Estonia and Russia was signed in 1994 and was automatically extended every five years unless either party expressed a desire to terminate it. To terminate the agreement, the other party must be notified at least six months before the end of a five-year term. For this purpose, the Foreign Ministry will send a corresponding note to the other party by May 19 at the latest, and the agreement will then terminate on Nov. 19 of this year.

The decision will not affect the recognition of diplomas and degrees since both Estonia and Russia have joined the Lisbon Recognition Convention -- the European region's convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education qualifications.

"As long as Russia's full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine continues, we must keep up our efforts to isolate the aggressor on the international stage and reduce our contractual relations with them," Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said. "This agreement brought no benefit to Estonia's education system."

The purpose of the agreement was to promote education cooperation between the two countries, supporting the mutual right of citizens to education and facilitating the exchange of scientific and educational resources.

"The Russian education system has been employed to justify Russia's war of aggression and conquest policy and to rewrite history, hence terminating the agreement is the only correct decision," Tsahkna said. "In effect, Estonia ceased all education cooperation with Russia already in 2022."