Russia, Estonia sign border treaty
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Estonian counterpart Urmas Paet have signed a Russian-Estonian border treaty in Moscow, an Interfax correspondent reports.
The ministers signed the treaties on the state border and the delimitation of sea waters in the Narva Bay and the Gulf of Finland and the agreement on diplomatic real estate assets, according to which Russia and Estonia will exchange buildings of diplomatic missions in Moscow and Tallinn, respectively, an Interfax correspondent reports.
It had taken 23 years to draw up the documents. The first land and sea border treaties were signed in May 2005 yet the Estonian parliament supplemented the ratification instrument with a preamble, which was rejected by Russia.
The lawmakers of the Baltic republic referred to the invalid Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920 between Estonia and Soviet Russia, which gave Tallinn an opportunity to lay territorial claims to Russia. It could have been the matter of two cities bordering on Estonia. Russia revoked its signature under the treaty.
"The legal recognition of the border is important for any country, as this is an attribute of a nation. And this is also proof of closing an outstanding issue in the relations with your neighbor. I would not call it a problem because we did not experience major practical difficulties in the absence of that treaty," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after negotiations with his Estonian counterpart Urmas Paet.
He underscored efficient and constructive border cooperation between Russia and Estonia. "Yet the final legal recognition of this situation and the border demarcation to begin after the ratification process is an important step, which is far from being a mere formality," the minister said.