Today the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) René van der Linden, who is presently visiting Estonia. Mr Linden’s visit to the Riigikogu began at the plaque in the courtyard of the Toompea Castle commemorating the members of the Constituent Assembly and 1st to 4th Riigikogu who lost their lives in the repressions of the Soviet and German occupation forces.
Ms Ergma raised the issue of international cooperation in the fight against cyber crime. There was mutual agreement that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe could initiate draft legislation for the elaboration of a relevant document.
Ene Ergma explained the history of occupations in Estonia and stressed the importance of condemning the crimes of the communist regime. The President of the PACE deplored the communist crimes by equating Stalin with Hitler.
The discussion also touched on relations with Russia. The President of the Riigikogu expressed her concern over the developments in the Russian media, as well as over youth movements like Nashi. The parties of the meeting agreed that multilateral partnership relations with Russia are important. Van der Linden called on Europe to give more consideration to the future of Russia and not to alienate the country. „There is no better future guarantee for Estonia or other Baltic states than membership in the principal European Organisations and NATO,” the President of the PACE declared. In explaining her opinion that Russia does not relate to the Baltic states as a partner but as a force, Ms Ergma assured that Estonia has on every occasion and on all levels tried to follow the democratic principle of developing good- neighbourly relations with Russia. To quote Ms Ergma: „Democracy cannot be imported, it can be grown into”.
Early this morning the President of the PACE met with representatives of Estonian national minorities in the National Library; the high-ranking visitor will also meet the President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. The President of the PACE will visit the Museum of Occupations, where he will meet university students and Member of the Riigikogu Mart Laar; meetings will also take place with the Estonian delegation to the PACE, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet, Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks, Minister of Ethnic Affairs Urve Palo, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Sven Mikser and Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson. At 3.35 p.m. René van der Linden will hold a press conference in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Journalists are welcome.
On Thursday, 20 September, Mr van der Linden will visit Pärnu, where he will meet the representatives of the city government and the general public, and visit the Pärnu Art Museum.
The Riigikogu Press Service
Your feedback is important. Please share it with us!