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The meeting of the Chairman of the Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee Sven Mikser and the members of the Estonia-Russia Parliamentary Group with the members of the Russia-Estonia Parliamentary Group of the State Duma of Russia today took place in a tense but at the same time constructive dialogue atmosphere where both sides explained their positions.

Among other things the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Mikser drew attention to the situation connected with the Estonian embassy in Moscow where working has basically become impossible. According to Mikser, the Russian authorities must fulfil the obligations of the state of location for guaranteeing the normal functioning of the diplomatic representation of Estonia.

According to both Mikser and the member of the Estonia-Russia Parliamentary Group Andres Herkel, Russia’s information channels have broadcasted only selective and often untrue information about the events in Estonia. According to Herkel, Russia’s TV channels have avoided showing the episodes where marauders are looting the shops, cultural institutions and monuments of Tallinn.

“I believe you agree that in such circumstances all states will react in the same way. It is not connected with political activities,” said Herkel.

According to Mikser, Estonia has observed all norms of international law and domestic legal acts and there has been no use of any unjustified violence.

According to the leader of the State Duma delegation, member of United Russia Nikolai Kovalyov they came to Estonia to learn about the situation on the spot and get information about the latest events.

“We are interested in preserving the friendly atmosphere but at the same time we cannot ignore the events that alarm the whole Russia. We shall not interfere with the internal affairs of Estonia but we are forced to present our position. Russia is not satisfied with the removal of this monument or practically its destruction,” Kovalyov stated.

According to Kovalyov, the activities of Estonia have encouraged outbreaks of nationalism in Russia and caused serious problems also in the domestic situation of Russia.

Both sides stuck to their positions concerning different interpretations of the history of Estonia. However, at the same time both sides acknowledged the need for further contacts in order to find a solution for the present situation.

Besides Mikser and Herkel, Chairman of the Riigikogu European Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson and Deputy Chairman of the Estonia-Russia Parliamentary Group Tatjana Muravjova and member of the Parliamentary Group Mart Nutt took part in today’s meeting.

From the Russian side, besides Kovalyov, members of the United Russia Svetlana Smirnova, Aleksander Orgolainen, Aleksei Sigutkin and Leonid Slutski participated in the meeting.

The Riigikogu Press Service