Russian-Estonian Treaty of Tartu - 100 years on

Estonia celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Tartu, in which Estonia's independence was agreed on with Soviet Russia, on the weekend. However, today's borders still do not correspond to those agreed at the time - a bone of controversy in Estonia and Russia to this day. The lack of a consensus is reflected in both countries' media.

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Moscow denying the basis of Estonian statehood

Commenting on the celebrations, Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that the Tartu Peace Treaty was invalid and that Estonia had voluntarily joined the Soviet Union. Sergei Metlev explains in Eesti Päevaleht:

“Of course it's not easy to admit that Soviet Russia, as the predecessor of the Soviet Union, lost the war and had to recognise a small democratic country that had been considered Russian property since the 18th century. Since the Russian Federation is today the legal successor to the Soviet Union, the Peace of Tartu is also part of Russia's legal and political reality. ... So we mustn't kid ourselves - Russia will only recognise the Peace of Tartu, with all that that entails, after a change at the helm.”

Ria Novosti (RU) /

Leave age-old treaties in the drawer

Ria Novosti warns Estonian politicians against opening Pandora's box with calls for a new border:

“Now that we're pulling out a long-invalid, 100-year-old document, why not dig deeper? For example back to the Treaty of Nystad of 1721, according to which Russia legally secured all of Estonia and part of Latvia (including Riga)? ... If you remember the borders that were drawn up after the conflicts of 1920, the Lithuanians would have to hand over Vilnius and the Ukrainians Lviv to Poland. And if you don't care about the post-war borders, then all of Western Poland should go back to Germany. But oddly, none of the countries that are fond of reinterpreting the historical events of the 20th century say a word about that.”

Eesti Rahvusringhääling (EE) /

Not even consensus in the Estonian government

The celebrations of the Tartu Peace Treaty have highlighted how views on foreign policy vary in the country, Toomas Sildam writes on ERR Online:

“The president says that the areas beyond the Narva River [which forms the border between Estonia and Russia] and around the city of Pechory, which according to the Tartu Peace Treaty should belong to Estonia but were incorporated into the USSR after World War II, remain part of Russia, and there's no point demanding them back. ... But quite a different message is heard from Henn Põlluaas, President of the Riigikogu and member of the ruling EKRE party. He said on Sunday that one should not give in to those who say we should voluntarily give up areas that are rich in natural resources and which legally belong to Estonia. ... Recently Prime Minister Ratas even admitted on ETV that there is no consensus in the government regarding the border treaty.”