View Full Version : Paet: Estonian-Russian Relations Normal, But Much to Be Done

11-13-2010, 10:16 PM
Paet: Estonian-Russian Relations Normal, But Much to Be Done (http://news.err.ee/politics/ec9fad9d-2de5-4f7a-9e22-db9a2328978c)

Urmas Paet ( Photo: Postimees/Scanpix )

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet finds that Estonian-Russian cooperation is progressing normally, even "well", in all fields, and a shift has taken place in political relations.

In an interview with Russian news service Interfax, Paet said that economic and cultural relations are developing agreeably and some progress is being made on the political front with a noticeable lack of strident and aggressive outbursts of past years.

A new Russian ambassador to Estonia was appointed at the end of October.

"In a word, there are normal relations between the countries and exchange of opinions, though it is true that this is only at the level of diplomats," said Paet.

The bad news, according to Paet, is that 20 treaties are waiting on Russia, including one on avoidance of double taxation, and no high-ranking Russian officials have visited Estonia in 20 years - not even the foreign minister.

Paet also said that Estonia stands prepared to discuss new ideas for implementing the border treaty - signed years ago but still stalled. Border-related security is functional, said Paet, but delays continue to plague truck drivers and shipping companies. Another issue cited by Paet is the return of the pre-war Estonian presidential regalia - Russia continues to maintain possession of the symbol of power.

Paet said on the topic of visa freedom with the EU that both parties know what they must do, but that it would be inappropriate for visa requirements to be abolished sooner than in the case of the countries in the EU's Eastern Partnership, Georgia and Ukraine.