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Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning the rights of Estonian citizens in Pechory region (No 562), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Georg Pelisaar, Toivo Tootsen, Tiit Kuusmik, Olga Sõtnik, Ester Tuiksoo, Inara Luigas, Valeri Korb, Nikolai Põdramägi and Eldar Efendijev on 11 January. The interpellators wished to hear the Minister’s opinion as to whether the directive of the President of Russia concerning acquisition of land plots in border areas infringes the fundamental rights of Estonian citizens and if so, then which rights.
 
According to Ansip’s explanations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not ascertained that the order of the President of the Russian Federation signed on 9 January 2011 infringes the fundamental rights of Estonian citizens. The Prime Minister stressed that the fundamental rights of Estonian citizens are provided in the Constitution, § 32 of which protects the assets and property of persons. The restriction on the acquisition of land plots in border territories for citizens of foreign states has been in force in Russia already since 2001 when the Land Code and its implementation Act entered into force. The Land Code provides that the list of border territories is established by the President of the Russian Federation. The President established this list by the order of 9 January 2011. As the restriction on the acquisition of land in border territories for citizens of foreign states had been in force since 2001, then this order did not worsen the current legal status of citizens of foreign states. The order does not concern the status of the property in border territories and such property continues to fall under Russian civil legislation and legislation on succession which has not been amended. In the opinion of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor does this order have a retroactive effect. The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to specify the circumstances that may accompany the order of the President of Russia, explained the Prime Minster.
 
Ansip noted that the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation had entered into the Agreement on legal assistance and legal relationship in civil, family and criminal matters in 1993. According to Article 1 of the Agreement, the nationals of one Contracting State and the other persons resident on its territory are entitled in the other Contracting State to the same degree of legal protection for their personal and proprietary rights as is accorded to its own nationals. Should the personal and proprietary rights of Estonian citizens prove to be less protected in the territory of the Russian Federation in comparison to Russian citizens, then Estonia can use diplomatic means to protect Estonian citizens on the basis of the Agreement on legal assistance, confirmed Ansip.
 
Prime Minister replied to two more interpellations. They were the following:
 
the interpellation concerning a snow storm (No 550), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Karel Rüütli, Heljo Pikhof, Eiki Nestor, Kalev Kotkas, Jaanus Marrandi, Sven Mikser, Jaan Õunapuu, Mark Soosaar and Hannes Rumm on 13 December;
 
the interpellation concerning confusions with the domain reform (No 563), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Olga Sõtnik, Kadri Simson, Vladimir Velman, Aivar Riisalu, Kalev Kallo and Lauri Laasi on 13 January.
 
On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Public Information Act and the Police and Border Guard Act (891 SE), initiated by the Government, was excluded from the agenda for the working week.
 
During the open microphone, Kadri Simson took the floor.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
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