Vice-President of the Riigikogu Kristiina Ojuland met with the members of the State Duma of Russia. In spite of the fact that this is an internal affair of Estonia, during the previous year Estonia repeatedly suggested Russia to cooperate in solving the situation but regrettably Russia refused. “In the present situation it would be best for both sides to avoid Estonian-Russian mutual accusations. It is necessary to restore normal dialogue between states in order to avoid further escalation of tensions,” stressed the Vice-President of the Riigikogu. Estonia has always been ready for mutual dialogue, said Ojuland. “However, the direct interference in the internal affairs of Estonia by a member of the State Duma delegation, Chairman of the veterans’ affairs committee Nikolai Kovalyov is rather strange.”
“Rampaging and marauding have no justification at all in the present situation,” stressed Ojuland. Ojuland added that the removal of the Bronze Soldier takes place pursuant to the War Graves Protection Act, following international norms and practices.
Kovalyov was forced to admit that the Russian press had given biased information. It speaks about the elimination of the monument but actually the monument is transferred to another place.
At the meeting it was noted that the relations between the Riigikogu and the State Duma have been at a low ebb. Wish to improve these relations was expressed. At the same time it was admitted that there are different opinions about the interpretation of history. In Ojuland’s opinion, acknowledging the occupation of Estonia by Russia would contribute to making a forceful step towards improving the relations of the two states.
Ojuland expressed protest about the intolerable situation at the embassy of Estonia in Moscow, where the situation around the embassy is controlled not by the law enforcement forces of Russia but by Russian youth organisations who attack the embassy in different ways.
Igor Gräzin, Eiki Nestor, Mart Nutt, Karel Rüütli, Marek Strandberg and Vladimir Velman were also present at the meeting and took part in the discussion.
Svetlana Smirnova, Aleksander Orgolainen, Aleksei Sigutkin and Leonid Slutski participated in the meeting on the Russian side.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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