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The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) made a proposal to the Language Committee of the Estonian Language Society to consider starting to use the name Königsberg instead of Kaliningrad in Estonian.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said that the Committee had found that using the Soviet-era name Kaliningrad in the Estonian language should be discontinued and the historic name Königsberg should be used instead. Members of the Committee also pointed out that the city of Kingissepp in Russia should be called by its former name Jamburg or Jaama.

The Committee made the proposal to consider changing the name to the Language Committee of the Estonian Language Society that participates in defining the standard of the Estonian written language and includes an advisory working group on foreign names. Mihkelson underlined that Latvia, Lithuania and Poland had also decided to use the historic name of the city instead of Kaliningrad.

In 1255, the city with the old Prussian name Twangste was renamed Königsberg in honour of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. After World War II, the city became part of the Soviet Union and was renamed Kaliningrad after the Soviet politician and a leading figure of Stalinist terror regime Mikhail Kalinin.

The Foreign Affairs Committee discussed the name issue in connection with the draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Proposal to the Government of the Republic to Start Using the Historic Name Königsberg in Estonian” (218 OE). The Committee will continue discussion on the draft Resolution in October. The purpose of the draft Resolution is to make a proposal to the Government to rename Kaliningrad again Königsberg in Estonian and carry out all procedures relating to the name change.

Chief Language Planning Expert of the Institute of the Estonian Language Peeter Päll and Head of the Department of Modern Estonian of the Institute of the Estonian Language Sirli Zupping participated in the sitting of the Committee.

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
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