MOSCOW, January 3./TASS/. Statements from President of the Riigikogu (unicameral parliament of Estonia) Henn P·lluaas about an alleged validity of the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty stall the ratification of the Russian-Estonian border treaty and add tensions to relations of the two countries, the head of the Russian State Duma’s Committee for International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, told TASS on Sunday.
"Polluaas’s statements are probably aimed at the domestic audience with an aim to attract electorate. However, such statements are further delaying prospects for the ratification of the Russian-Estonian border treaty of 2014 and create additional tensions in bilateral and inter-parliamentary cooperation," the legislator said.
He reiterated that the president of the Estonian parliament has been saying for a second year that the Tartu Peace Treaty has not lost its validity. Another such statement was made during his address on ETV+ television on Friday, Slutsky said.
"Thus, Henn P·lluaas is going down this road again, getting the situation 16 years back, when after almost 11 years of negotiations the sides managed to agree on the border line and sign a border treaty. However, Estonia’s mentioning the Tarty Peace Treaty in its preamble prompted Russia back then to recall its signature, and new consultations began only in 2012, ending in 2014 by the signing of a new agreement on the state border," Slutsky said.
The document is still considered by the two parliaments, he reiterated.
Russian-Estonian border treaty
The Russian-Estonian border was agreed in 2005 after almost 11 years of negotiations. The border treaty was also signed then and it was submitted for ratification but Estonian MPs included a mention of the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty in its preamble which could spell potential territorial demands to Russia in the future. Amid these developments, Moscow recalled its signature and the process was left legally unfinished.
The talks resumed in late 2012. The treaty was signed in February 2014 by the foreign ministers of Russia and Estonia but to enter into force it has to be ratified by both national parliaments.
The Treaty of Tartu was signed by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (part of the Soviet Union) and Estonia on February 2, 1920. Its conditions stipulated that Ivangorod and a part of the Pechory District belonged to Estonia. After Estonia joined the Soviet Union in 1940, these territories were retroceded to Russia.