Estonian-Russian border treaty, relations under discussion in Moscow

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Photo: Mihkel Maripuu

A delegation of the Estonian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on a working visit to Moscow discussed the current state of border treaty consultations and relations between the two countries more broadly at a meeting with the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Estonian lawmakers and Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov and members talked at Wednesday's meeting about the current state of border treaty consultations and Estonian-Russian relations in general, and exchanged thoughts on Middle East and North Africa-related topics, spokespeople for the Estonian parliament said. Relations between the European Union and Russia including visa freedom were also touched upon.

"I'm pleased to say that we're moving towards a more active dialogue at the parliamentary level and regardless of existing differences of opinion are able to talk about and justify our standpoints in a businesslike and constructive manner," chairman of the Estonian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson  said.

The Estonian lawmakers stated that visa freedom with Russia serves Estonia's interests but for this to materialize Russia must meet all the requirements like other countries that are enjoying a visa-free regime with the EU. Members of the Federation Council committee praised the Estonian economy's coping with the crisis.

The committees agreed to meet next in Narva and the adjoining Leningrad region. It is planned to discuss the existing border infrastructure and the need for its further development, as well as other matters facilitating enterprise and trade.

The Estonian lawmakers are further scheduled to meet with the chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Alexander Torshin and president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin. Meetings are also lined up with students of the Moscow-based Institute of Foreign Relations and representatives of the rights group Memorial.

The Estonian delegation consists of Mihkelson, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Imre Sooaar and Vladimir Velman.

The Foreign Affairs Committee last visited Moscow in 2004.