The Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky
Leonid Eduardovich held a working meeting with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament) of Estonia Marko Mihkelson.
“The discussion was constructive and informative. The issues related to ratification of the Treaty on the Russian-Estonian State Border were discussed at the meeting. This issue is essential and important for both sides,” Leonid Slutsky told journalists after the meeting.
He recalled that in 2015 both sides were ready to start the ratification procedures at the same time, but then the process was frozen and it was not initiative of the Russian parliamentarians, and the process was completely negated after the parliamentary elections in Estonia in 2019.
“The State Duma Committee on International Affairs is ready to revert to issue of ratifying the border treaties, but only if there are no territorial claims from the Estonian side and “political additions”, like references to the Tartu Peace Treaty signed in 1920. As it is now just a part of the history. And the ball is in the court of the Estonian parliamentarians,” said Leonid Slutsky.
He stressed that reducing the anti-Russian rhetoric in Estonian policy would help to improve the process.
“It was the common understanding of the need to build a normal and non-confrontational atmosphere in bilateral relations that what we agreed with our Estonian counterparts when we re-signed the Treaty on 18 February 2014. We expect practical measures in this area from official Tallinn,” said the Chairman of the State Duma Committee.
He added that he proposed to intensify the inter-parliamentary dialogue and hold a joint meeting of the foreign affairs committees of the State Duma and the Riigikogu via videoconference, “where we could discuss the whole range of problems and issues of bilateral and international cooperation.”