World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

EU interferes in the border dispute between Russia, Latvia and Estonia

What would Riga and Tallin say if Moscow billed Latvia and Estonia for all industrial objects, ports, and so on, which were built on their territories?

As it was supposed before, the European Union could not leave the problem of territorial treaties between Russia, Latvia and Estonia aside. Pravda.Ru wrote before that the EU would most likely be involved in the dispute of territorial treaties between Russia and the Baltic states, after Russia refused to ratify the border agreement with Estonia.

One has to acknowledge that there was no other way for the EU administration to go. Latvia and Estonia became EU members despite several border questions, which the two former USSR republics had. The territorial problem has not been settled within a year: to all appearance, Latvia and Estonia do not believe that official agreements with Russia need to be observed strictly. Governmental officials of the two states emphasize their interest in the soonest regulation of the problem with the border treaties, although they continue setting inappropriate claims during the talks with Russian delegations. What would Riga and Tallin say if Moscow billed Latvia and Estonia for all industrial objects, ports, and so on, which were built on their territories during the years of the “Soviet occupation,” and say that all the documents would be signed immediately after the adequate payment.

Judging upon the statements from Baltic politicians, the European Union has interfered in the border dispute. According to Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Artis Pabriks, the EU intends to conduct negotiations with Russia regarding the signing of border treaties with Latvia and Estonia. “One may come to conclusion that the EU understands the problem. It is also clear that the border issue will not vanish from the agenda of the talks between Russia and the European Union,” Pabriks said after EU ministers for foreign affairs finished their meeting in Brussels.

Urmas Paet, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, stated that the EU backed Estonia's position regarding the ratification of the border treaties with Russia. It is noteworthy that Russian officials would like to start the discussion anew. According to the Estonian minister, EU officials said enacting the agreement about the Estonian-Russian border was in the common interests of the European Union. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, the EU chairing state, particularly stated that the ratification of the agreement touched upon the interests of both the Russian Federation and the European Union. The ratification process should be brought to end, Straw said.

The scale and the form of EU's participation in Russia's negotiations with the Baltic states is still indefinite, for it is still not known, when it is possible to resume the talks. Latvian officials say that the process may start in October, whereas Estonian politicians insist Moscow should ratify the previously concluded agreements.

If the EU participates in the regulation of the border dispute between Russia and the Baltic states indeed, this fact could probably testify to a certain political decline in Latvia and Estonia. It brings up the idea that the Baltic states cannot solve the worthless problem without someone else's interference.

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