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Editorial: let's get this border treaty thing over with

COMMENT PRINT ARTICLE
PHOTO: Urmas Nemvalts

A quarter of century process, Estonia-Russia border treaty has undergone debates on either side and twice it has been signed. Hopefully, both will now end up ratifying the document.

The first signatures were given ten years ago but as Riigikogu enriched ratification act with preamble referring to Tartu Peace Treaty, Russia responded by withdrawing her signature. In 2012, it was decided the treaties will be limited to state border issues strictly, and last year the signatures thus followed for second time. Now, the government said it would go ahead forwarding the treaty to Riigikogu for ratification.

For Estonia and Russia alike, the main pain has been the difference to historic treatment of consistency of Estonian Republic and the Tartu Peace Treaty. According to Estonia’s foreign minister Marina Kaljurand, the treaty will concern the geographical border line alone and will not treat interpretations of history. Important herein to realise: entering into the treaty will make Tartu Peace Treaty no less valid.

This has also been the view of Riigikogu, the former membership of which never reached ratification due to upcoming elections, while agreeing that political statements will not be added to fixing mere physical borderline.

Important now for ratification process to go smooth by both sides. In September next year, Russia elects its State Duma and if not ratified by then, time runs out to proceed the bill – just like it happened in Estonia. In interview to Postimees, new Russian ambassador to Estonia Aleksandr Petrov says he cannot tell when the Duma discusses the issue, but ideally the ratification would be sealed before year’s end.

Rightfully, critics claim treaties can’t always be relied on, especially so with partners in habit of breaking them. Russia’s activity in Ukraine breaching both UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act and Paris Charter serves to prove the point. Nevertheless, and the more so that the times are tough, better have agreements than none. So let’s go by that.

On cartoon, Rabbit's main concern is for Nation to not get puffed up after ratification...

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