The new Estonian government and its foreign minister, Eva-Maria Liimets, have shown willingness to move towards formally solving the country’s border dispute with Russia and ensure it no longer remains the only EU country without a border treaty with Russia.
For Estonia and Russia, the issue has become principled and politicised.
The countries signed a treaty in 2005, but Russia withdrew after Estonia added elements from the Treaty of Tartu signed in 1920 between newly-independent Estonia and Bolshevik Russia.
If the border’s delineation from 1920 – which is written in the Estonian constitution – were adopted, Russia would occupy some 5% of Estonian territory. For Russia, whose starting point was the administrative boundary between the USSR and the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic until 1991, any reference to Tartu would constitute a case for territorial claims.
A new treaty was later signed in 2014 but has not yet been ratified by either country for political reasons. Besides, the Ukraine-Russia conflict has since been ongoing.
However, Estonia is now ready to make a move.
The government is ready “to move forward” in order to strengthen security, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets told ERR News in an interview on Tuesday, adding that “Estonia can take the first step and say that Estonia has the willingness.” Liimets said she hopes the Russians would be interested in finishing off the agreement.
Meanwhile, a new report from the Estonian intelligence services says Russia continues to be the ‘primary threat’ to the EU in cyberspace, presenting intensifying dangers in terms of online espionage, cyberattacks, and also a likely turn to deepfake technology in the near future.
The report also noted that Russia continues to apply certain ‘KGB-style’ tactics in cyberspace to sow discord among Western societies.