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Estonian Foreign Ministry: There will be no improvements in our relations with Russia until it gives Crimea back

Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand. Photo: pmo. ee

In an interview to a local TV company, Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand said that Estonia is committed to sign an agreement specifying its border with Russia.

She can’t say if this is possible this year. “Much will depend on our parliament. As far as I know, it will examine the agreement in late October or early November. The document will have to go through several readings and ratification. I can’t say how much time this will take but I don’t think that the agreement will be ready for signing this year. In any case, next autumn Russia will re-elect its State Duma. Unless the document is ready by that time, they will not consider it. So, our deadline is next Sept. The quicker the better,” Kaljurand said.

She welcomed the visit of a group of Estonian MPs to Moscow. “I hope they will use it for making our position known to Moscow and for saying once against that we want to have a border agreement with Russia. As far as Estonian-Russian relations are concerned, they could be much better than they are now. Just like the EU, we have applied sanctions against Russia but here things depend not on us or the EU but on Russia. As long as Crimea is occupied and as long as Russia is acting aggressively in eastern Ukraine, our policy will not change,” Kaljurand said.

Concerning Moscow’s complaints about growing NATO presence in the Baltics, the Estonian foreign minister said: “Estonia is a NATO member and it is natural that we have NATO troops in our territory. Yes, their number is growing but the cause is not Estonia or NATO or the EU. The cause if Russia’s aggressive and provocative behavior,” Kaljurand said.

Earlier, Estonian historian Igor Kopytin said that judging from Estonia’s steps (its involvement in military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and its stance on Kosovo) and President Obama’s last year’s visit to Tallinn, the country is following in the wake of the United States’ policy. So, there will be no changes in its attitude towards Russia.

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